“That was more touch than I’ve received in the last 7 years of my marriage.”touchfreehugs This is what one of my clients said the other day after massaging him. “We have not touched each other that intentionally in our 8 years of marriage.” This is what a woman said after taking my Couples Massage Class. And these people are married…..Imagine all of the people who are not in relationships! Have we become a society that is touch deprived? This is one of the reason’s I’ve been doing these partner massage classes and why I’ve made my new Couples Massage video,   I want couples to enjoy touching and massaging each other.  We are so busy in our day to day lives, that we forget to touch.  We get too tired.  We get bored because we don’t know how to touch properly. In Gary Chapman’s work, The 5 Love Languages, he says that there are essentially 5 different ways that we give and receive love.  Physical Touch is one of these 5 love languages.  So, if touch is your love language, and you’re not touching or being touched….then you’re probably not feeling loved. There have been so many studies around touch.  Babies’ development is found to be stunted when they are deprived of human contact.  The elderly seem to enjoy better health when they are touched on a regular basis, and patients recover from their illnesses quicker when they are touched often. Touch, or the lack of it, affects us all. Healthy touch slows our heart rates and reduces anxiety. It makes us feel safe and nurtured. A lack of touch, though, can make us feel very lonely, and even angry. I recently came across the term, “skin hunger”.  This is where your skin literally hungers for the touch of another human being.  We want to feel connected, accepted and whole. I am all about touch….obviously since it’s my profession, but even as a child I would love to cuddle with my parents.  When I go home to visit my family, my favorite thing to do is cuddle with my mom at night while we watch TV in her bedroom.  We were a hugging and touching family, so sometimes when I meet people who didn’t grow up that way, I’m thrown off. I do want to mention here that bad touch in people’s past is a huge reason people don’t feel comfortable with it now.  I have many friends and clients who have been abused in their past, so I want to respect those of you who may have had a similar experience with bad touch.  I know that healthy touch, in the form of massages and from loved ones, is a wonderful way to work through much of that pain. When was the last time you gave your friend, parent or child a really good hug?  I think it would be a really fun challenge to see how many people you can hug today! And if you are realizing that you’re needing healthy touch, please give a call to set up a massage or if you don’t live in the Portland, Maine area, you may enjoy this video.