Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Gratitude and the Power of Healing Touch
The immense power of our touch cannot be underestimated. Nothing can be more soothing, comforting and healing, then then simple gesture of someone laying their hand on our back.
Touch has the ability to activate our parasympathetic nerveous system, or the "relaxation response", and this shift in feeling and body chemistry can create a little space, a little light at the end of the tunnel, for someone who is suffering. Since over 80% of our communication as human beings is non-verbal, sometimes these small, simple gestures of touch can say more completely what it is we have in our heart to express. At time words can get in the way; they seem inadequate in expresssing the enormity of your love and compassion. Touch, when offered with lovingkindness and respect, never falls short.
As a mindfulness exercise today, find a person to offer your healing touch to. Remember to be respectful in the way that you offer this, a hand on the upper back or shoulder is usually a "safe place" for most people to recieve that offering.
Also, take time to recognized and acknowledge with gratitude the loving touches that you receive. The next time you receive a hug, really experience it. Linger and let the energy from that person's heart mingle with your own. If you are feeling a bit low today and could use some healing touch, ask for it! Everyone loves to give a hug. Go up to a friend and say, "I am feeling a little sad, could you give me a hug." I promise you will be responded to with delight.
One more thought on the power of touch. If you are struggling through a difficult time in your life, or if you have hardship and trauma in your past, consider body work as a part of your healing process. The body and brain literally store these emotions and experiences. If we only process them on a mental level, through counseling or other modalities, we never fully release these samskaras, or patterns, from the body. Deep tissue massage, Reiki, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Watsu, are only a few of the body work methods that can help you to release these stored emotions and live a fully present and realized life.