April 27th - Touch

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"The first sense to ignite,
touch is often the last to burn out...
long after our eyes betray us,
our hands remain faithful to the world."
-Frederich Sachs

"We describe our mood swings as 'feelings' 
and when something strikes a deep, sentimental chord in us 
we say we were 'touched.'

When we feel alienated, fragmented, and adrift, 
we often refer to this estrangement as 
'losing touch with reality.'

Bumper stickers ask,
'Did you hug your child today?'
And did you?
Because we all need to be hugged and touched,
not just to thrive but to survive."

I remember hearing or reading about a story
 about a bunch of babies that were not touched, and they died. 
I can't remember where I heard it, or when, 
or if it was an experiment or something else...

And I've been trying to research it online, 
but I'm having a hard time finding what's true and what isn't. 

The closest thing I found is Frederick's Experiment
(here is the pdf of the video, in case you'd rather read than watch) 
I think that must be what I heard, 
but I can't find any evidence that this actually happened...
and no one can agree if he was Roman or German...
maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. 

Dr Ornish looks pretty cool though, check out this website 
and his book that they mentioned in the Frederick's Experiment. 

Anyways, whether that is true or not, there is tons of evidence 
supporting the conclusion that touch is necessary for survival. 

These are two reputable sources,
 I would highly recommend reading them. 


Both show that touch is important for survival, 
but no one has been able to fully explain why. 

"...research is suggesting that touch has an importance 
over and above other expressions of affection 
and that its presence has consequences 
for psychological development." -NYT  

Sarah tells us how she became a 
sensuist: "someone who delights in sensory experiences, 
as opposed to a 
'sensualist,' someone who is excessively concerned 
with physical gratification."

She became a sensuist when she experienced a massage for the first time. "I felt such peace, joy, and relaxation it was as if I had...a transcendental experience. This naturally produced euphoria lasted for many hours and that night I enjoyed the sleep of the innocent. The next day I felt ready to take on the world."

Honestly, I felt the same way after my first massage, and my second, and my third. She suggests, if you can afford it, making a monthly appointment. She says it's "preventative medicine - not covered by her health insurance but vital to her peace of mind and sense of well-being."

I think I'm just going to hire Robbie once a month, it's cheaper and better than a stranger touching me. You should talk to your spouse too, see if you guys are up for trading massages every month. 

I never was a big fan of touch. 
I still don't like people touching my feet.

Shelby was a toucher. 
She played with my hair, held my hand, stroked my arm, 
came up behind me and just held me. 

I used to not be a big toucher...I used to feel a little awkward when she held on too long, or just randomly started stroking me...but now I miss it so much. Now I can't wait to touch her face again, and have her touch mine. I will forever treasurer the last times I held her hand, and the last hand squeeze, and holding her face as I said good-bye, for now. 

If you are not a touchy person, you don't have to be. 
Not everyone is the same. 

But you can increase your touchy levels 
so you can become more of a sensuist. 

You do that by practice. 
And to practice you have to think about it.

"Today, reacquaint yourself with this powerful, 
life-enhancing physical sense so often disregarded.

Ebrace your children,
stroke their hair,
cradle them in your arms
(no matter how big or squirmy they are),
kiss your lover,
caress your pets,
experience the feel of different fabrics against your skin...
Enjoy a sensuous, warm, scented bath
then sleep in the nude on fresh cotton sheets...
Think about treating yourself to a therapeutic body or facial massage...

Think of the massage the way you would think of getting your teeth cleaned, your hair styled, or a new pair of eyeglasses - occasional but necessary outlays to maintain your physical well-being."

My favorite touch today was dancing with my babies while we sang Hallelujah. I got on my knees, Chase and Riley only came up to my chest. They nuzzled into me and I held them close as I slowly swayed back and forth in a circle. Jacob reached my eyes, and so I showed him how to hold my waist and my hand, and then I pulled him in tight and lifted him off the ground so I could sway with him too. 

My second favorite were every kiss Robbie and I shared. 

Go on.
Try it.

Gratitude Journal

1) Swim lessons. Day 4. Jacob and Riley are doing super well. Chase is a really good swimmer, but he just cries............Today they tried to break the habit. I think I'm going to try more touch with him, every time he whines or cries just hug him...see what happens.

2) Music, and how it touches me.

3) My senses.

4) Tomorrow is Friday.

5) My kids. They are so wonderful, and I am so grateful that I get to be their mom.