Science has shown that stress is held at a cellular level.
Reading this on your phone while your brain is buzzing with a million other thoughts about things you should be doing? Most of us have so much going on that it’s hard for us to be in touch with what we truly need or want in any given moment!
Take a moment now to close down your eyes. Take three easy breaths. Gently allow your hands to skim across the top of your forearms, inviting a sense of grace and tenderness for a few moments. Notice what arises. Notice any sensations, thoughts, preferences. Do parts of your body tense up or soften into the experience? This is all valuable information about what is happening in your inner world RIGHT NOW.
Empirical research is united in finding that attuned touch and somatic therapy are hugely beneficial for people with stress, anxiety, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Any kind touch can be of benefit – gentle, compassionate touch from a partner or parent, a shoulder rub from a friend, or professional massage of any style including Remedial, KaHuna, Bowen therapy or Shiatsu to name a few. These especially complement talking therapy in processing the trauma that is held in our bodies that can play havoc with our lives.
Consensual, gentle and heartfelt touch can be surrendered to in a safe place, allowing the joy of embodiment and receiving. With regular touch, your nervous system is able to interpret these warm experiences and lay down adaptive neuro-pathways, decreasing hypervigilance and increasing presence. This process moves us toward a more integrated nervous system that may have otherwise creatively adjusted to protect against touch during times of stress.