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The Psychology of Touch

By: S. Mercedez Calleros
Posted: June 25, 2008, from the January 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Needy. If you have young children or pets, this method of touch is a familiar one. It is experienced in the hugging of a leg or the tugging of clothing by a child as a request for attention, as well as by a puppy pushing its nose under your hand, begging for a scratch on the head.

Healing. Hands-on practitioners use this form of touch with their clientele in order to promote good health, stress relief and recovery from an injury. Some forms are gentle and relaxing, while others are deep and penetrating.

Inquisitive. Babies who are only months old explore their new world of faces, colors, shapes and temperatures by touching and grabbing. The blind learn to “see” with their hands. Physicians use touch to get a better idea of where you may be feeling pain or where there is an abnormality that may require further examination.

Abusive and/or aggressive. Many people are affected by those who express themselves through hitting, slapping or forcing themselves on others.

Other senses. In fact, all of your senses are an extension of touch. When you hear sounds, a flurry of air molecules touches the delicate membranes of your inner ears. When you see something, light waves touch your sensitive retinas. The senses of smell and taste similarly require molecules to touch the membranes of the nasal passages and the tongue, respectively.

Physical and emotional healing