Human Touch is as vital to our health and happiness as food or water. Touch is a vital form of communication that we use to connect with other human beings. From the moment of our birth to the final moments of our lives, we crave human touch. Filling the need for touch is essential to our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Our central nervous system functions in two modes - Parasympathetic - a normal relaxed state, and Sympathetic - a neural response to threat. When facing duress, bodily energy streamlines into preservation mode and non-essential functions (such as the immune and digestive systems) slow down. Sugar is released into the bloodstream, creating energy. The body's production of stress hormones and adrenaline are accelerated.

Normally, once the danger is past the body shifts back into parasympathetic mode. The immune and digestive systems kick in and the liver cleans the blood of stress hormones. But people with perpetually high stress lifestyles may rarely get back into parasympathetic mode. This is where massage, Craniosacral Therapy, and other therapies involving nurturing touch help the body. The therapist's touch stimulates receptors in the skin which in turn, stimulate the brain to release endorphins. This aids the body to release stress and feel relaxed. The relaxed state allows people to sleep better, improves blood circulation, and induces a relaxed state of mind and enhanced mental focus.

The stigma of touching those who are ill can contribute to feelings of isolation for those suffering from terminal illness. Lack of nurturing human touch can cause them to spend the final stages of their lives feeling completely isolated. Therapies involving touch can bring comfort, nurturing, and supportive energy to ill patients, and the therapist can reap benefits for themselves in return. Touch promotes the release of human growth hormones in infants. One study showed that seniors who participated as volunteer grandparents in a program to give massage to abused infants, experienced the same benefits as when they themselves received massage. Tests showed a decrease in stress hormone levels in the saliva of the seniors.

Every living thing is soothed and comforted by touch. A silent communication occurs during touch. When we touch someone in a caring way that is clear and palpable, they will experience trust, and literally feel more comfortable within their own body. Neutral, non-judgmental touch can help us feel heard, and understood. This translates into an experience of deeper physical ease, which allows us to feel comfortable in letting go of the confusion that troubles our soul. Spiritually speaking, the healing power of human touch contributes to the health and healing of the whole person, mind, body, and spirit by increasing body awareness and body-mind connection.

Author's Bio: 

Gloria Flores HHP, CST-D is a diplomate level Cranosacral Therapist, California State certified Massage Therapist, and a Licensed Spiritual Health Coach, with a private practice specializing in Craniosacral Therapy in Toluca Lake, CA. For more information see