Below I share with you an article written by Paul Carter, my ex-husband, about the power of touch. He wrote this one ages ago, after he joined me in teaching Tantra workshops, but it is not outdated, it never will be. In fact, if anything, the need for touch is bigger then ever because, as the world moves faster and we relate a lot through technology, people are actually getting less and less touch. And as sexuality becomes increasingly performance oriented and is informed by pornography, even the touch that happens between couples can be less then satisfying.
I will soon be teaching a class about the Magic of Touch for both singles and couples, which will offer opportunity for giving and receiving safe, nurturing, healing, playful touch, and learning how to create more nurturing touch in your everyday life. Stay tuned for upcoming workshop dates.
What a Difference a Touch Makes
by Paul Carter, Ph.D.
I watched it over and over again in my own life and in the people who come to the groups we lead. People can be in the midst of months- or year-long depressions, frustration, anxiety, grief, shock, and stress and then all of a sudden receive a few hours of gentle touch and become transformed, relieved, alive, accepting, able to let go… and so, so beautiful.
And I’m not talking about well trained massage or healing touch. I mean the pleasurable, sensitive, playful touch that we all know how to give just because we’re human; a touch that seems to say and remind you that it is good to be human.
After receiving enough good touch, I watch people breathing easier, accepting life as it is with tears and laughter, coming into the state of just “being” that opens us to experience the grace and beauty in all parts of our lives!
The touch can happen in many forms, not just physical. Sometimes we are touched by a powerful melody, or the sight of the sun rising and setting, a letter from a friend, the innocent way your child sings to herself in the mirror, or some simple act of kindness like when a stranger helps you carry a heavy bag to your car.
All these instances seem to be ways of touching some aspect of our humanness, whether it be our beauty and splendor or our shared dependency, and through touching our humanness, acknowledging and embracing it.
But there is nothing like the actual physical touch that can solidify in a lasting way this basic good feeling of being human. I remember being told of Native American tribes who considered their warriors who returned from battle to be no longer human, and so would massage and touch and sing to them continuously for days until they became “human beings” again. If only we had done that with our veterans, how much healthier we all might be.
I guess it is like the touch of the Mother to the Baby, that seems to be the most direct way of communicating to all people, “You are OK. You are safe. Everything is all right.”
There have been so many studies documenting the physiological and psychological benefits to babies receiving human touch and the tremendous adverse effects from lack of touch. It is clear to me that these effects do not diminish after infancy or childhood, that we continue to need and be renewed by touch throughout our lifetimes as human beings. We all need to make space in our lives each day and each week to receive a few hours of touch.
What a difference a touch makes.