If you close your eyes, how do you know you exist?
So vital to our sense of self, our relationship to others and the world, touch is our first sense to develop. It is through our skin and our nervous system that we touch the world and are touched by the world, from our earliest cell divisions the skin and nervous system are so intimately connected they are considered continuous. ‘The skin is no more separated from the brain than the surface of a lake is separated from its depths. To touch the surface is to touch the depths’
Touch tells us who we are and how we are, and is recognised to be a human need even more primary than food. Touch is the non-verbal language of compassion, love and gratitude and its meaning in our language take up 20 columns in the Oxford Dictionary!
As a legacy of Covid even the simple gesture of a handshake has become an anathema and months of lockdown isolation revealed to us that touch deprivation has profound consequences for our physical and mental health. So whilst it is second nature to offer soothing touch to a ruffled pet or a distressed child, why is it that our stressed adult population is not offered the same, but instead given medication to alleviate their suffering?
As a Somatic Therapist my work can combine talking, movement and clothed touch to support people physically, emotionally and mentally. I describe this as a ‘non-doing’ touch that seeks not to fix a problem but to help a person get back ‘in touch’ with themselves. Touch can bring someone new information about how their body is, soothe their anxiety and breathing patterns as well changing their experience of pain.
If you want to learn more about touch and massage skills, see below for details on Introduction to Holistic Massage short course being held at The Soma Rooms by Bristol School of Bodywork and Massage.
If you are curious to learn simple touch and massage techniques to use with friends or family, or are considering training in massage therapy The Soma Rooms is delighted to be hosting Bristol College of Bodywork and Massage’s (BCMB)Introduction to Holistic Massage course with lead tutor Sarah Mclellan.
Accessible to those with young children at school, this introductory course is running during school hours and starts Monday 5th December. Click HERE for more information and booking directly with BCMB.