“To touch can be to give life.”
~ Michelangelo

Simply stated, touching another person—an instinctive action from birth—offers love and caring.

I’m absolutely fascinated by the life-enhancing properties of a mother’s touch. There have been numerous studies done over two decades showing that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket) immediately after birth, as well as later. When that happens, babies become more relaxed, their temperature becomes more stable and more normal, and their heart and breathing rates stabilize. This skin to skin contact, sometimes called Kangaroo Mother Care, is best for both full-term and premature babies in every way. When separated from their mothers, babies’ vital signs show that they are in distress (breathing, heart rate, temperature, hormones, etc. become irregular), but when reunited with their mothers, babies’ vital signs normalize, and they begin to thrive.

In his research on Bio-Touch, Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor at the University of Arizona, and Corporate Director of Development of Energy Healing at Canyon Ranch, concluded “that there is no substitute for direct physical touch between the provider and the recipient.”  His research included an experiment in which 121 University of Arizona undergraduates were recipients of three different greeting conditions—skin-contact (the practitioner touches the recipient’s skin), cloth-contact (the practitioner touches the recipient’s clothing) and non-contact (the practitioner’s fingers were a few inches away from the recipient’s body). In his foreword to my book, Dr. Schwartz said that his research with Bio-Touch “clearly demonstrated that the strongest effects are consistently reported with direct skin to skin contact.”

I recently did an Internet search for “health benefits of human touch” — this search returned over 2.5 million results!  Here is a sampling of what I found:

  • “Gentle touch has been shown to facilitate physical and psychological function, particularly in terms of reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing the ability to cope, and general health ratings.”  From “The Health Benefits of Physical Touch,” by Margaret Chuong-Kim. Read The Article
  • “From lowering blood pressure and heart rate to increasing immune function and relieving pain, getting touched or doing some touching makes you healthier—not to mention happier and less anxious.” From “Touching Makes You Healthier,” by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel. Read The Article
  • “The healing power of touch extends across the life span, from helping babies grow and children concentrate at school to decreasing chronic illnesses and disease.”  From “The Healing Power of Touch,” by Andrea Cooper. Read The Article

In my experience as a certified practitioner, I’ve seen recipients change before my eyes as I work on them. Perhaps their pain has not been completely eliminated in that one session, but their shoulders relax, they’re breathing more deeply, they smile, and they tell me how much better they’re feeling overall. And I have found that these changes in my recipients spark a similar change in me during the session. I realize that I’m breathing more deeply and mirroring their sighs with my own. I notice how the tightness dissolves from the back of my neck, and how I’m smiling too. This is part of the beauty of Bio-Touch—a two-way street that benefits both the recipient and practitioner, demonstrating the power and necessity of human touch!

Debra Schildhouse
Bio-Touch: Healing With The Power In Our Fingertips