How does touch affect our mental and physical health? | DW Documentary

Touch shapes us as humans. Indeed, touch is fundamental to what makes us social beings. Touch influences how we perceive stress and pain, who we trust and who we fear. How does this work? And what happens to us in the absence of touch? Gentle touch is vital for us humans. It creates the first contact with the world for newborns, giving us a sense of security and belonging. Touch influences our immune system, and on our feelings for our fellow human beings. Especially strong feelings, such as love or compassion, can be better conveyed through touch than through words, facial expressions or gestures. Given how important touch is, it’s no surprise that humans have a highly specialized system devoted exclusively to perceiving gentle touch stimuli. Why does the touch of a stranger feel so different to that of someone we are emotionally close to? What is happening in our brain – and what role does the brain play in all this? In an era of social distancing, touch research is becoming increasingly relevant. How does it affect us, and our relationships, when we are required to keep our distance? Researchers explore what role touch plays in our physical and emotional well-being, and what the consequences are when touch is missing.

4 thoughts on “How does touch affect our mental and physical health? | DW Documentary

  1. Excellent!
    I’ve heard too many sad stories in my life about babies, or other ages of people, who don’t receive good safe touches and how it negatively affects their lives. 😦
    From the time I was a little girl on up to today, when I visit with senior adults I ask if I can hug them, shake their hand, hold their hand…because when I was a little girl a senior adult told me that often the only touches senior adults get are medical…and they hurt or are uncomfortable.
    So I thought the seniors in my life, and the ones I met, might like a safe, gentle, loving touch…like a hug or to hold hands. 🙂
    But since I have always been a toucher…I always ask/asked permission first as not all people like to be hugged.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

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