touch and well-being

Oxytocin and Caring Touch

caring touch creates well-being

Oxytocin is a naturally occurring chemical produced in the brain when we feel safe, nurtured, and receive caring touch. It acts like a hormone in our bodies to regulate the arousal level of our nervous system. It is also the hormone of attachment, the ‘neural cement’ of all loving bonds.

Because babies are unable to regulate their own nervous system, loving touch and closeness are critical for…

The Need for Touch and Connection

Human beings and other animals are hardwired to be watchful for threatening situations. A part of our subconscious brain is always asking and answering the question ‘Am I safe?’ This is healthy, as long as we are able to recover from stress as readily as we respond to it. Unfortunately, for many people this is not an easy task. It turns out that one of the most important variables in stress…

Does Massage Make a Difference?

Reiki Bodywork

All evidence points to the importance of touch for adults, but in our culture, touch is often in short supply. For most of us the only appropriate contexts for nonsexual touch (outside of parent-child relationships) are in sports, greetings, healthcare, and professional grooming.

What do we do, then, if we need to be comforted? We often don’t even identify the need as such. We misinterpret…

On Relationships

Life is relationships;
the rest is just details.
~ Dave Smiley

When we have relationships that feel safe, nurturing, and we receive caring touch, our brain produces oxytocin, which acts like a hormone to regulate our nervous system. It helps us feel calm, relaxed, alert, engaged, and more open and trusting with those we’re close to. The oxytocin response is key to maintaining healthy…

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