I know that touching was, still is and always will be the true revolution. By Nikki Giovanni
We as human beings are gifted with the senses of touch, hearing, smell, taste and sight. These senses are the foundation of how we relate to our world but even more so how we create our world. Our skin is the oldest and most sensitive of our organs, our first medium of communication and our most efficient protector. Skin will vary structurally and functionally with age, touch remains a constant, it is the mother of the senses. Skin is the largest sensory organ of the body. The tactile system is the earliest sensory system to be functional in all species thus far studied-human, animal and bird. The skin and the nervous system arise from the ectoderm. It serves us as human beings to think of the skin as the external nervous system, an organ system which from its earliest differentiation remains in intimate association with the internal or central nervous system.
Massage therapy modalities serve the 20 plus physical functions of the skin noted by Ashley Montagu author of Touching, The Human Significance of the Skin. It is the quality of touch or cutaneous stimulation that conveys the message through intensity, pressure, rhythm, or duration. Touch is always individualized. The interpersonal communications effected through touch will tend to be significant in a way that verbal language cannot achieve.
Dr. Tiffany Fields lead researcher/ director of the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine notes these statistical studies: cortisol is the eliminator of the natural killer cells of our immune system-touch counters the cortisol; touch decreases cortisol levels by 31% when produced in response to stress. Stress can manifest mentally, emotionally or physically. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands directed by the hypothalamus. A third study involving touch notes the increase of dopamine levels by 31%, serotonin by 28%. Dopamine impacts our motor control, motivation and cognition while serotonin our well-being, happiness, sleep and appetite. These are some functions of these two hormones but not limited to these alone. “Massage works because it changes your whole physiology” Dr. Tiffany Fields.
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