#4 of 31 posts in 31 days
I am a massage therapist. I talk A LOT about massage every day. I think about it, I read about it, I talk about it, I practice it. I touch people. Healthy, nurturing touch, in my opinion, is one of the most essential basic needs that humans must have to thrive. Tiny babies come into the world needing to be held, needing to be touched, needing to be nurtured and fed. Nature’s way of feeding babies involves skin-to-skin contact. We want to hug and snuggle our toddlers and small children. We wish our teenagers would hug us more often. We wish our hugs could fix our teenager’s “problems”. When we fall in love we lavish attention upon each other. Couples hold hands, hug, kiss, sit arm-in-arm, and sleep close together.
We crave healthy touch. We need to feel loved, secure, happy, and not alone. I am attending a wedding today. The bride and groom are well past seventy years of age. Each has been married before. The groom was married for more than 50 years to the same woman. He cared for her when she was sick. From what I understand he never left her side, except for work. They lived a happy, committed married life. The bride started a life and family with her first husband, only to lose him to cancer at the young age of 38. She worked, raised children and cared for him when he was sick. She went on to marry again. They were married for 29 years, committed and devoted to each other. He suffered poor health and she never left his side. She loved and cared for him, as his wife and care-giver.
I am honored to attend this union. I enjoy seeing the hand-holding, the hugs, and the smiles. I’ve heard laughing that I haven’t heard in a while. I see joy. I see the human connection that we all crave, need and deserve. I am happy to know that these two people will not have to spend another night alone, wishing for a hand to hold, or searching for a kiss good-night. Their lives will be enhanced by companionship, their sorrow soothed with hugs, and their future filled with laughter and joy.
As I think about these two people and the benefits of healthy, nurturing touch added to their lives, I look to my own life. I think I will give my 5-year-old some extra hugs, and hold my husband’s hand while we watch TV.