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Centerpointe Research

Are You Afraid To Touch Or Be Touched?

We were made to be touched and we can literally or figuratively die without it.

Marasmus is a disorder that was found in children who were dying from lack of human contact in orphanages even though fed and kept warm and dry.  Even monkeys have to have it to live.  In an experiment on contact comfort, when possible,  baby monkeys chose a cuddly cloth monkey “mother” that did not provide food over a wire monkey “mother”that did  (Harlow & Harlow 1962).

People have personal spaces and, when possible, people do not let strangers within these boundaries.  While necessary, personal space is not conducive to intimacy which involves touching.  People in social situations  shake hands and even buss someone on the cheek when greeting someone.   People can sometimes become visibly uncomfortable when this is done.  People can openly reject people by stepping away and refusing to do this.

Becoming a loner and not being in touch with other people can happen sometimes not by choice.  Many of these people have experienced rejection and are afraid of this happening again.  Bullying is an example of one thing that can cause this.

Note the popularity of toe nail and fingernail manicures accompanied by foot and hand massages.  Hairdressers who can give a good shampoo usually include a scalp or head massage. Note also the popularity of animal companions especially among those who have no children or those whose children have grown up and live away from them.

In nursing homes, residents noticeably perk up when therapuetic animals are brought to the home and residents are given the chance to interact with them.  Also I have always wondered why residental facilities with older persons residing in them couldn’t have contact with daycare facilities for children as both could interact with the other?

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