The importance of touch in our everyday life cannot be underestimated. It is a powerful means of communication, an important method of bonding and connectivity, and an effective way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Recent studies reported in Psychology Today about The Power of Touch reveal the intricacies of emotions we are able to communicate through touch: “[DePauw University psychologist Matthew Hertenstein’s] research shows that touch can communicate multiple positive emotions: joy, love, gratitude, and sympathy.” Touch also increases the speed of our communication and, consequently, our bonding with others: “We feel more connected to someone if they touch us.”
Massage plays a critical role in using our power of touch to bond, communicate, and help relieve anxiety. The researcher notes the following about touch through massage:
“It’s a bonding opportunity for the two of us. Oxytocin levels go up, heart rates go down, all these wonderful things that you can’t see.” Moments like these also reveal the reciprocal nature of touch, he says: “You can’t touch without being touched. A lot of those same beneficial physiological consequences happen to me, the person doing the touching.”
In fact, when we’re the ones initiating contact, we may reap all the same benefits as those we’re touching. For example, [Tiffany] Field’s research [director of the Touch Research Institute] has revealed that a person giving a massage experiences as great a reduction in stress hormones as the person on the receiving end. “Studies have shown that a person giving a hug gets just as much benefit as a person being hugged,” she adds.
At Lexington Healing Arts Academy, our massage therapist students and professional instructors observe and experience these positive effects of touch on the human body every single day.
Massage is a proven form of touch therapy. According to the Mayo Clinic, massage “is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension…People enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.”
For these reasons, and with the approach of Valentine’s Day, we thought this would be the ideal time to introduce a Couples Massage Workshop for any couple interested in learning some basic Swedish massage techniques. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to give your loved one a gentle and relaxing massage, allowing you both to experience all the benefits and power of this effective touch therapy.
We also encourage you to contact our front office to purchase a Valentine’s Day Gift Certificate, valid for massage therapy, yoga, personal training, or group exercise classes. Call us at (859) 252-5656.
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