Touching News

More proof America's Puritan-derived touch-phobia is unhealthy:

"...Human skin has a special network of nerves that stimulate a pleasurable response to stroking...a second slow-conducting nerve network of unmyelinated fibres, called C-tactile (CT)...." New Scientist

"...Slow fibers function from the earliest hours of life, perhaps even in the womb, while the fast fibers develop slowly after birth." The Washington Post

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Monday, July 29, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Roslee Friday, August 2, 2002 at 03:38 AM

Chad, I found the "news" items you referenced to be old news to any nurse worth his/her salt. I touch and talk to my patients in the ICU all the time. Therapeutic touch is an important component of bedside nursing care. Infants will die from lack of touch, withering away in a syndrome called "failure to thrive." They have decided at least 15 years ago that non-procedural touch...that therapeutic touch...was vital as well to seniors in care facilities as they, also, suffered from "failure to thrive." Face it, Americans are really screwed up when it comes to touch, especially the men. We are taught that there are only a very few types of touch allowed in this society...sexual, aggressive, and if you are fortunate, and are female or gay, you are allowed to use a friendly touch. Sometimes all a person needs is a hug to feel supported, connected, human. Unfortunately, all too often this need is confused with the desire/need for sex and people will pursue sex and still end up not satisfied because they still didn't get that comforting hug they needed. Too many men just don't get this concept. If babies and elders can die from lack of kind and friendly touch, how much are we all being hindered in our daily lives by our lack of non-sexual/non-aggressive touch??
I feel that I am fortunate in having at least one male friend who is very in-tune with his touch needs and we seem to tkae turns being touched and toucher. Recently I was at a gathering with him and I was able to get a "fix." I felt very comforted by just rubbing his back and neck gently and he was in 7th heaven. It's kind of like the satisfaction I get from cuddling with my cat, but better because it is person to person. Even among my circle of friends, there are some who mistake this touching between my frined and me as being sexual. When anyone actually says anything we are surprised that even some of our friends don't get it.