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Touch Deprivation is a Real Thing – And You Might Have It

How Touching Helps (and feels good, too!)

Did you know that ‘touch deprivation’ is a real thing?

Matthew Hertenstein, who is the director of Touch and Emotion through DePauw University, states that not only is it a real thing but compared to other cultures, Americans are perhaps the most touch deprived culture on the planet. “Most of us, whatever our relationship status, need more human contact than we’re getting,” he says.


In fact, most behavioural scientists back up Dr. Hertenstein’s claims, reporting that most Americans prefer about a four foot bubble of personal space, as compared to other cultures where the distance between people is about a foot or so. And yet, a study from UNC (University of North Carolina) discovered that women who hugged their significant other, even for just a few seconds, have lowered blood pressure, and the stress hormones that are present in the brain are also reduced. So what’s this telling you? Touch someone, preferably not a stranger, often.


Connecting and Reconnecting with Your Partner

Sensual touch, couples touch, touching in general, is not only a ‘fun’ thing to do, but it is very necessary to a person’s wellbeing and happiness. Numerous studies exist out there that prove touching someone in a loving way does the following:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Increases endorphins (the bliss hormones)
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Fights off infections
  • Can lower the risk for heart related diseases


7 Ways to Reach Out and Touch (Without Being Creepy)

  1. Kiss your close friends hello (on the cheek like Europeans do).
  2. Schedule a full body massage, or better yet, set aside time to do this with your significant other.
  3. Make a habit of touching someone on the arm or hand when you speak to them.
  4. Be a hugger. Hug hello, hug good-bye, hug good-night.
  5. Walking past your partner, reach out to caress them in passing.
  6. Hold hands while watching television.
  7. Give each other a foot massage (this sends blood flow into the abdomen where all sorts of things could heat up).


The Largest Sex Organ You Own: Your Skin

As you’re probably very well aware, touch comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, pressures, and meanings. Each type of touch activates and fires off a different area of the brain, researchers share. And, there are receptors in the brain whose sole role is to convey emotion to the brain based on sensory information that is received. So, learning how to touch the one that you love, and communicating with your partner about what feels good (or discovering new ways to touch each other) can not only improve and strengthen your relationship, but also serve to make you both healthier and happier in the long run. Think about all of the ways in which your current partner touches you and how it makes you feel. This is almost all initiated with the sense of touch, which is the first sense, by the way, to be developed when we are born. First online, it is our oldest, and largest sex organ, and this bodes well for those who want to take their relationships up a notch. Commit to touch each other regularly today.

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