Let’s face it. This time of year can be really challenging and exhausting. While the first five holiday parties can be fun, it’s downhill from there. Our auditory systems get overloaded and numb from the incessant Christmas carols playing on the radio and in the stores. Shopping frenzy can cause one to buy things that just take up space in our already overstuffed closets.
The Gift of Touch Reduces Stress
One of the best gifts that you can give yourself and your partner is the gift of touch. Touch is one of the most important human sensations. It is the first language that we learn. Soft, gentle touch releases oxytocin into the blood stream helping to create a sensation of trust and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol which is particularly helpful during the holiday craziness.
The Gift of Touch Increases Compassion
In recent years there has been quite a bit of published research about the healing effects of touch and there are even touch research institutes. Check out this article about the science of touch in which researchers have demonstrated that touch helps premature infants gain wait, increases compassion, fosters cooperation over competition, and even helps NBA Basketball Leagues win more games. We can also convey a myriad of emotions through the gift of touch such as anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness and sadness.
Conscious Touch Increases Your Partner’s Pleasure
However, touching someone, without putting a conscious effort into it, will not yield the same results as when we give the gift of touch consciously. In my coaching practice, I teach individuals to touch their partner for their own pleasure, not for their partner’s pleasure. Does that sound strange? Well think about it, if you are touching someone for your own pleasure, because it feels good for you, the likelihood of your gift of touch being received positively increases exponentially. When you touch for your own pleasure, you touch someone in a completely different way with a much more connected and sensual energy.
Try This: Without giving any instruction, touch your partner’s arm in a way in which you think they want to be touched. Ask them to rate the touch on a scale of 1 to 5 (five being the best touch). Now do the exercise again and touch your partner’s arm in a way that makes you feel good. Focus only on your own sensation and pleasure. Again ask them to rate the touch on a scale of 1 to 5. Now try giving the gift of touch for your own pleasure while you are taking some deep breaths. Notice if that changes anything for either you or your partner.
Stay tuned for Part II where I explain the six different modalities of touch. If you really want to give your partner a great gift of touch book some couples sessions with me where I will show you all the different ways in which couples sensual massage can be extremely pleasurable for both of you! Now that is truly a gift of touch!