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Returning to Touch Love


Mini-Love-Lesson  # 277

Synopsis: The good that loving touch does in our brains; our natural hunger for tactile love; physical and emotional distancing; and mindfully getting ready for when we can do more, safe, love touching after the pandemic are all succinctly and usefully reviewed here.

Touch Love in the Brain

When people with love in their hearts touch each other, skin to skin, almost magical things happen in their brains.  With loving touch, the brain chemical oxytocin starts to flow which greatly facilitates love bonding.  Dopamine and norepinephrine are produced and circulate which significantly helps the loving feel good with one another.  Immunity mechanisms strengthen and dozens of other helpful things begin to happen as our brain continues to process healthful, real love.

Love Touch Hunger

With the pandemic, millions have gone without much touch love and its multitudinous benefits.  In those lands where the pandemic has been well-managed, it is not as bad and it is  getting better.  Elsewhere, not so much yet.  However, there is a worry that in too many places too many people may have become touch shy, avoidant or just habituated to having less loving and friendly touch in their lives.  There are studies that suggest as hunger for affectionate and loving touch goes unmet, people of all ages become more easily agitated, fatigued, anxious, depressed, irritable, uncooperative and more disease susceptible.  As this occurs, love relationships of all types suffer.

Loving Touch in the Soon to Be Future ???

So, after enough people get vaccinated and touch becomes safe again, how well will we return to doing loving and friendly touch with each other?   Also, how much will you and your loved ones lives be benefited or deprived of loving touch’s many contributions?  

Let’s consider hugs.  Are you going to hug more, less or about the same?  How are you going to hug?  Will you be doing full body hugs, A-frame hugs where there is no touch below the waist, country club hugs where there is no touch at all or what?  Will you hug everybody you use to  hug?  How do you want to respond when meeting new people who want to hug you?

What about shaking hands?   Communicable disease experts advise that shaking hands probably would be a habit we could do well without.  Do you want to stick with fist bumps or elbow bumping instead of shaking hands?  How about the old Roman Empire’s mutual, wrist grab and squeeze?

What will you want to do about pats on the back, one arm buddy hugs, snuggling, cuddling, hand holding, back rubs, foot rubbing, spooning, massaging and tap touching?  Then there is how you may come to touch and be touched by children, teens, elders, different genders, workmates, friends and others?  Will you pick up from where you left off before the pandemic or do you want to make some sort of fresh, re-start to friendly and loving touching?

There are indications that all these touch involvements have diminished during the worldwide emphasis on “distancing for safety”.  Along with physical distancing, there is thought to have been an increase in emotional distancing that had best be reversed for the good of everyone’s mental, physical and relational health.  Distancing, regrettably, has contributed to our, research-identified, global problems with loneliness and what some call our wide-spread, love-malnutrition.

Until were safe out in the world, giving and getting lots of loving touch with those you safely live with, probably is a very healthy practice.  That might require an increase in what you and your close-at-hand loved ones are used to.  You might want to talk that over with them.

Touch Love Mindfulness

I suggest it will be advantageous for us all to become a bit more mindful of our post-pandemic touch behaviors and what we want them to be.  Such mindfulness may be especially useful in regard to those we love, those we call friends and those new acquaintances we may want to befriend or we could even come to love.

It is also important to think about getting ourselves love-touched enough.  Additionally, we all may do well to make-up for lost time spent apart or out of touch with our distanced friends, family and other loved ones.  In time, as we reconnect face-to-face, we may want to say things like “How about a big, long hug” or other love-touch initiating remarks.  Until then, we can ready ourselves for when we again can give and get loving touch more freely.  Being a bit more mindful of how we send and receive love via touch, likely will lead to our love relating being improved, enhanced and enriched.

If you want to learn more about love-touch and its wonders, try reading the mini-love-lessons found under Touch in the Subject Index Link of this site.

One More Little Thing.  Are there some people you might like to touch on these subjects with?   You could call, Zoom or Skype with them, if you can not yet get in touch with them face-to-face, and make a joint plan for getting in touch with each other as soon as it safe.  If you do that, please mention this site and its abundance of mini-love-lessons aimed at making the world a bit more love knowledgeable.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question:  Do you ever give yourself a love hug, or otherwise lovingly touch yourself perhaps while saying some healthy, self-love words to yourself or to certain parts of yourself?

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