I’ve been a Reiki Master for years, and I believe that physical touch can heal. I was thrilled to read recently that we are wired to connect emotionally through touch. Scientists have learned that a certain kind of nerve fiber found within the skin is likely to account for that connection. Interestingly, the fibers communicate more than just sensation. They transmit emotional connection.
Did you know that the first of the five senses to develop in a fetus is touch? Touch is also the most developed sense at birth. It was once thought that the feel-good hormone oxytocin (released when we breastfeed) explained the often instant connection between mother and child. Now researchers believe it has to do with touch as well.
Our skin contains nerve fibers that respond either slowly or quickly, depending on their purpose. All of these responses can be seen in an MRI of the brain. Fibers that respond quickly tell us that what we did hurts, that something is about to drop out of our hands, or that someone is sitting on our lap.
Slow nerve fibers send information about feelings. Though the research is still preliminary, it seems as though we have more of these slow nerve fibers on our backs, necks, scalps and arms, which may explain why a massage or a pat on the back can feel so wonderful—at least it does to me.
Touch is the cornerstone of every loving relationship. Without it, babies will literally die. So, today take a minute to lovingly touch someone you are close to, not just because it feels good to them but because it connects us on the deepest level and lets the person we love literally feel that connection.