You’ve heard that fact when you were at school… ‘Our skin is our largest organ’ –
In fact it stretches over 2 metres!
There are many functions of the skin; sensation, a defensive barrier against toxins and invaders, absorption of vitamins/water/oxygen etc, excretion of toxins via sweat glands and pores, regulation of temperature…
But today, we are talking about sensation
Sensation is an incredible function, the power of touch is profound. For long term wellbeing, touch is as important as food and security.
It can also vary greatly between cultures. Psychologist Sidney Jourard, observed friends chatting to each other in cafes around the world, and these were some findings:
- In Puerto Rico, people touched each other an average of 180 times in an hour.
- In Paris, it was 110 times
- In Florida it dropped to twice an hour
- In London the average was zero!!
It’s obviously not recommended to touch every stranger you see, but it is possible to miss out on so much by not using touch when we can and when appropriate.
We all have an inbuilt need to be touched. When it is done respectfully and appropriately, touch is a vital part of the human experience. The touch doesn’t have to be intimate and it doesn’t have to be big to have an effect. A pat on the back, a rub on the shoulder, a handshake, a professional massage – all stimulate the reward centres in the brain. We feel happier, safer, more confident, more soothed and more connected.