The Healing Power of Touch: Relationship Tip

Through my years in both nursing and personal relationships, I have been struck by the healing power of touch. When I was a maternal child nurse more than 30 years ago, I gave care to my postpartum patients by giving them a back rub and tucking them in at night. I remember the amazing feedback I received from that simple act and the gratitude I had for being able to provide that personal care. (I wonder if back rubs are still a part of patient care?)

The other day I passed by a playground where two young children with ponytails embraced near the sandbox. Their eyes sparkled with glee as they melted into each others’ arms … as much as to say, “All is well in the world.”

Being married to a “fixer” for many years, it has taken several struggles in our relationship for my husband to stop offering solutions when I’m frustrated, and instead start giving me a hug. This kind of touch offers me much comfort when I am sad or overwhelmed. He is now relieved to know how to care for me.

Two years ago, my dear mother died of cancer in my home, surrounded by family and friends. We would sit for hours at her bedside and stroke her head and hold her hand. Sometimes words are not needed.

So in this age of technology when most people are holding their cell phones or blackberries, try holding someone’s hand or giving them a warm embrace. It could become contagious and maybe we might all say, “All is well.”

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