March 09, 2020 2 min read
The right touch can send a shiver down your spine or make you squirm. But touch is also a critical part of human development. It’s the first sense that babies develop in the womb. Maybe that’s why it plays such a critical role in human development, and throughout our lives.
Touch is the first way that mom (or caregiver) and baby communicate. It’s also a key way to help the health of premature babies through Kangaroo Care (cute, right?). Research has found that lying your baby on your chest for skin-to-skin contact has benefits for both the baby AND the momma. According to the University of Kentucky:
Kangaroo care benefits for baby:
Benefits for parents:
Human beings are able to communicate compassion through touch. In a Berkeley University study, participants were separated by a wall. One person would put their arm through a hole in the wall, and the participant on the other side would try to guess the emotion they are conveying, solely through touch. The chances of guessing the right emotion was 8%, but participants guessed compassion correctly 60% of the time. We humans and our feels!
The benefits of touch are bountiful, and there are ways to sneak them into your everyday life. Take for example a hug. Hugs:
Connecting with people in person also wards off loneliness, which is known to increase blood pressure and depression. Some doctors even say that loneliness rivals obesity and smoking when it comes to damaging your health. Yikes!
Human contact is a remarkable superpower that we all have, and gives so many benefits to each other. All for free. So get out there and hold someone’s hand, or give them a hug! (With permission, of course).
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