“Gentle touch has been shown to facilitate physical and psychological functioning, particularly in terms of reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing the ability to cope, and general health ratings.” http://drbenkim.com/articles-healing-touch.html
I know you are stressed and exhausted and that often just makes the pain worse but I’m here today to stress the importance of TOUCH in your relationships. I understand that the pain and fatigue can make you want to completely cut the intimacy out of your life but as humans, we thrive on that connection. Person to person contact is mutually beneficial and has also been proven to help control anger.
According to the University of Miami School of Medicine, the health benefits of human contact are,
Decreased Pain- Children with rheumatoid arthritis who were given massages by their parents 15 minutes /day for one month reported lower stress levels, anxiety and pain.
Enhanced Immune Function- Studies have shown an increase in cancer fighting cells in women with breast cancer and HIV patients after massage. Anxiety, stress and depression also decreased.
Happy & Strong Babies- Premature infants given more touch and attention in the NCIU gained more weight.
Quicker & Less Painful Births- Women in labor who received a backrub for 15 minutes of each hour of labor reported less pain and used less pain medication. Labor was also typically shorter.
Enhanced Alertness and Performance- People completed math problems faster and made less mistakes after having a massage.
So if you think you’re in too much pain to be touched, think again. A little human contact may be exactly what you need.
I know there are days when even the lightest touch can be excruciatingly painful and send chills up your spine but you can’t isolate yourself forever. That’s not how you protect yourself.
- Start with a professional massage.
- Go somewhere reputable and make sure they know how to accommodate your chronic illness and touch sensitivities.
- Communication is key! Make sure they are aware of any apprehension or anxiety you may be feeling as well as any extra sensitive areas. If you feel comfortable ask for some tips you could give your significant other.
Remember, touch is mutually beneficial and the intimacy of a romantic massage can do wonders for your relationship. If you feel like you’ve been drifting apart, simply holding hands can make you feel closer and spark a little romance. Start slow, it can be easy to feel overstimulated at first. Essential oils and lotions can reduce friction and even pain. Again, communication is key. Instead of shutting your partner out, try to help them understand. They can’t possibly fathom the pain that some sensations cause that’s why its critical they know what to avoid and what helps ease the pain. Please be mindful of allergies and irritants when selecting oils and lotions.