The Importance of Touch in a Digital Age
It’s date night and your sweetie has scooped you up for an evening out. You glance over at the family sitting next to you, and what do you see? Electronics. Everywhere. The seven-year-old plays on a personal gaming device, the pre-teen texts her friends, the teenager swipes at a tablet, and Mom and Dad conduct business while sitting at the dinner table – emailing, messaging, or texting. No one looks up at the waitress as she fills glasses … let alone each other. There might be lots of communication, but where is the interaction?
We live in an age where our only stimuli are from our electronics. Our brains are bombarded with so much information, and we cannot “unplug.” This type of stimulus needs an outlet – we need to decompress, to stop, and just “be.” Torn in so many directions, we have difficulty sleeping, thinking, and concentrating.
What have we lost? Physical touch. Studies have shown that young babies cannot survive without constant skin-to-skin human touch. My tiny grandson wants nothing more than for my daughter to hold him almost all of the time. He softly rubs his little fingers over her face while he falls asleep in her arms. From a young age, we crave physical interaction, and we do not lose that need as we age. The elderly need it just as much as the very young. When I was a child, I would often visit my uncle’s nursing home, well before the age of technology. He and his friends wanted nothing more than for me to sit next to them. Looking back, I am certain that they were somehow energized and renewed by my presence, and it gave them a reason to live that day.
Today, we believe that electronic words count as truly knowing someone. We have information at our fingertips. Our world has shrunk. We have constant and complete information a simple click away at all times. But we have forgotten one of the most important components of our survival – and that is touch.
Touch is a basic human need; but not getting enough touch can be harder than you think. When you think health, touch is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Holistic and healing modalities performed by estheticians and massage therapists who are licensed in touch give so much more than just a healthy treatment for problem skin or achy muscles. Skin care and massage are healing modalities that utilize touch, lymph drainage, and toxin removal, as well as promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and refreshing treatments for your overall health.
These types of therapies ought to be a part of everyone’s monthly self-care regimen. They are healthy ways to relieve pain, help with sleep patterns, lower blood pressure, and so much more. They also give you at least one hour of uninterrupted time – electronic-free moments to recharge. People who practice monthly facials or massage are healthier, happier, and spend less time and money on medications and doctor visits.
Isn’t it time to put down the cell phone and add healthy touch to your self-care routine? It’s never too late to get started …
Diane Mack is a licensed esthetician and oncology certified esthetician, and is the owner of Esthetics By Caris, located inside Atlas Health & Wellness Associates, 152 Capcom Ave., Suite 104 in Wake Forest. She may be reached at 919-604-0646 or visit www.carisskincare.com.