WHEN YOUR BODY TEXTS YOU: I NEED TO BE TOUCHED

New Year, New You? Yeah right.

Two months down in 2019. Marching firmly and steadfastly towards Quarter II. The big goals for 2019? How are those going? Exactly. You aren’t alone.

One of the tools for success is assessment:  taking a break, stepping back and evaluating what can be done differently.

Possibly one of the most overlooked basic human needs is the need to be TOUCHED. And it very well can affect your goals and desire for progress in a very tangible way.

Our next four-part series will be unpacking your body’s signals regarding SEX,  its importance to overall health, and the science behind it.

Now I know what a lot of us are saying as we are reading this, particularly those of us who are single: I don’t need sex. I do not need to be touched. I just need to focus and get shit done.

How is that working out for you?

As all topics go with Mean Texts from Your Body, I will never claim that this is EXACTLY what you body is trying to tell you. The objective of these blogs is to get us to begin to actively listening to our bodies, learning her signals, her language, what exactly she is trying to say and why.

The possibility that you need to be touched is simply ONE possibility and/or answer in your investigation of what your body needs.  

Signs Your Body is Texting You: I NEED TO BE TOUCHED:

  1. Depressed?  

  2. Anxious?  

  3. Feeling disconnected from people, or friends?  

  4. Feeling ungrounded, disenfranchised?

These could be symptomatic of needing to be touched and it is a feeling worth exploring.  

FACT: When you Get That Feeling, You May NOT Want Sexual Healing.

Though this series is unpacking sex and signals our bodies send us RE: sex, please know that this first segment has VERY little to do with sex. The benefits and advantages of touch are NOT specific to sex. There are TONS of ways to get the healing qualities of touch without sex:

  1. Hugs and affection from friends, family, tribe

  2. Cuddle parties and other touch-friendly events (Yes, cuddle parties! They are AWESOME! Click here to learn more.)  

  3. Massages

  4. Acupressure and Acupuncture

  5. Having your romantic partner touch you with the understanding it will not lead to sex

If you determine at the end of this post that touch is absolutely necessary for fulfillment and healing, go ahead and explore different ways to get this regardless of romantic partnership. We may or may not have one at given stages of our lives, but we will always--as humans--necessitate touch to connect, bond, heal, and communicate. Being single is absolutely no reason to go without the healing power of consented, intimate, and positive touch.

Science Shit: How And Why does Touch Heal & Contribute to Overall Health?

1. Immediate “Good Vibe” Hormones Are Released. First off, touch pays off almost instantly on a biochemical level. It is an immediate high to your body. Serotonin and dopamine are released, chemicals that give off feelings of pleasure, reward, and happiness. These awesome hormones are associated with decreasing heart disease and blood pressure. Oxytocin is also released, another good-time hormone. The giver of feelings of love and bonding, this connects to your vagus nerve, which connects to the parasympathetic nervous system. When that system is running at its best, the body will heal, rebuild, and perform at better optimum health. Wow! That’s some powerful touch, right?

2. Psychological Effects: Going Without Touch Makes Humans Crazy. We know that humans who are born without sight or without hearing are able to grow, develop, and live healthy and normal lives with healthy brains. However, humans born without touch, another situation entirely.  As Neuroscientist David Linden states in his TEDTalk, “a disaster unfolds.” He sites the study of Romanian orphan babies in the 1970s and 1980s during the Ceausescu regime. Grossly understaffed orphanages were unable to hold, hug, rock, and caress infants. This resulted in debilitating lifelong issues:  self-soothing rocking motions, attachment disorders, cognitive delays, stunted growth, gastrointestinal problems just to name a few. All derived from touch deprivation. When touch was introduced to these babies by volunteers, the situation would immediately turn around, but only if there was intervention before the age of two. Any tactile or touch intervention after this, the problems would persist for life.

Now we might be saying: well of course. Babies are fragile. Childhood is developmental. Touch is necessary during that time. But I’m a grown ass person with shit to do. Does touch really matter for adults?

Fuck yes.

According to Dr. Linden, of the five senses, touch is the most overlooked, and perhaps the most important for promoting psychological health. Touch builds relationships within romantic partners, siblings, parents and children. It binds together communities and workplace dynamics. Doctors who appropriately touch their patients are rated as more caring, and have patients with better medical outcomes. Possibly the most fascinating study was performed by UCLA, that found NBA teams that engaged in more acts of celebratory touch (high fives, butt pats, chest bumps, etc.) not only were statistically more likely to win, they communicated and played better as a team.

It’s a no-brainer. At all ages, we operate better when we are touched. (PS: Go ahead and check out Dr. Linden’s TEDTalk, it’s FASCINATING!)

3. Touch: The Great Communicator. Touch plays a huge role in communication. We have an innate ability to communicate with each other through touch alone. Think about it: If you are close enough to touch, it is much quicker to communicate something than with words. We’ve all been at that party when you wanted to get out of there, a quick kick or poke in the arm is a quick and easy way to let your friend know: “I’m over it! Let’s go!” without ever uttering a word.  DePauw University psychologist Matthew Hertenstein found in a study that “participants communicated eight distinct emotions—anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness—with accuracy rates as high as 78 percent.”  Hertenstein himself was surprised, estimating it would be more around 25%.  He states: “touch may in fact be more versatile than voice, facial expression, and other modalities for expressing emotion.”

Why does this matter? If you are experiencing frustration within your interpersonal relationships, it may be that consented touch is a better method of communication. Trying this with a romantic partner or loved one might lead to better results. Who knows? You both might like it.

Our bodies just texted us I NEED TO BE TOUCHED. What do we text back?

  1. LOVE

If you don’t know it already, learn your love language. If you find that touch is your primary love language, or even if you’re just feeling symptomatic of needing physical touch, plan ways to get touch in your life.
If you are partnered up, ask for your partner to gently stroke you. Be mindful to make the distinction and verbally communicate with your partner that this is just touch time, not touch that leads to sex time.  
If you aren’t partnered, trying going for a massage or foot rub. If you are feeling adventurous, check out cuddle parties in your area.  

  1. ENERGIZE

Go to your local farmers market, grocery store or supermarket. This may sound silly, but fondle the fresh produce. Close your eyes and feel what it feels like to explore the produce outside of the sense of vision. This will get the areas of your brain associated with touch to start working better.

  1. MOVE

Partnered dance classes are fantastic. Even if you suck at dancing, a beginner level of dance will not only get your body moving, but moving against someone else. It really helps! Google a salsa, ballroom, or swing dance class in your area.

  1. RISE

Masterbate. Seriously. Touch yourself. This probably won’t be the last time I suggest masterbation in this series, but to highlight just a few of its benefits:

  • release sexual tension.

  • reduce stress.

  • help you sleep better.

  • improve your self-esteem and body image.

  • help treat sexual problems.

  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension.

  • strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas.

So yes! Please go touch yourself! Often! It is a powerful step towards listening to your body, and responding to her needs.

Questions or comments about this blog? Hit me up here or on any fuckin’ platform you want!

Thanks so much for listening to your body with me. And with every conversation please: Love, Energize, Move, and Rise!

Stacy BermanComment