The above statement is probably obvious to many of my readers. Certainly to most of those who receive massage from myself or another therapist on a regular basis. I was reminded of this recently as I have had four clients who have suffered losing a partner either through break up or death over the past few months.
Every one of them has talked about how as a single person they do not receive touch. All spoke of difficulty sleeping and part of this problem being that they were used to having a partner’s body to cuddle up to.
As children, it is normal to have hugs on a regular basis. As adults, it is much less so though this does vary greatly across and even within cultures. Here in UK as a whole we are much less likely to touch and hug anyone who is not a relative, partner or very close friend. And while I do know people who really don’t like hugs, they are few and far between in my circle of friends.
Massage can go some way to helping with this. It doesn’t have to be a full body massage. Just hands or feet or head and shoulders can make a big difference. (There is research where this has been used in care homes showing a reduction in the need for medication for sleep, depression and various medical complaints.)
I am not saying that everyone who is missing out on being touched in a caring way should be queueing up for massage (doubtless many of my colleagues in the business would like it if this were to happen!) Rather I am asking that we all be aware of people we know who might be in this position and depending on how well we know them either offer or just give them an extra hug from time to time.