Touch is the first sense to develop in humans. So, it is no surprise that when we are in pain, the first thing we do is touch, hold, and protect the area that hurts. It’s instinctive. We do this not only for ourselves but for other people. It is an entirely natural and accessible form of social support that can be employed by anyone anywhere. It can communicate love, value, care, and affection that provides a much-needed sense of connectedness with your fellow humans.
Experiencing positive and affirming touch is necessary for proper human development. It can help parent and child bond after childbirth. Skin-to-skin contact after delivery supports a physical and psychological connection between the newborn and the caregiver. In fact, infants deprived of touch often have a shorter lifespan than their counterparts. The lack of skin-to-skin contact at this early stage in development can slow their growth and interrupt neurochemical messages.
Our skin is in constant communication with our brain. It is one giant communication system. To give you an idea of how massively important it is regarding communicating information via the nervous system, a section of skin about the size of a quarter contains 12 feet of nerves, millions of cells, and 50 nerve endings. It is the gateway to how our brain perceives touch. Even if someone has mostly experienced negative touch throughout their lives, it is possible to retrain the brain to perceive touch as a positive and safe experience. Massage therapy can help with this.
Here are some ways massage therapy is beneficial:
- Massage has a sedative effect, which helps with insomnia.
- It can release positive hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones help to combat depression.
- Massage therapy has been found to decrease anxiety after heart surgery.
- According to the American Massage Therapy Association, “Nurturing touch and regular sensory integration appear to reduce the social, communication, behavioral, learning, thinking and problem solving-challenges associated with [autism spectrum disorders] ASD. In particular, craniosacral therapy and deep pressure massage are receiving attention as a possible means to help manage ASD behavioral patterns” (Shryer 2017).
- Massage therapy also promotes circulation to injured parts of the body. This brings nutrients and blood to the area which helps to speed the healing process.
- Oncology centers throughout the United States use massage therapy with cancer patients to help with the side effects of chemotherapy.
As you can see, massage therapy has medicinal effects. Giving the gift of massage therapy is a great way to share its many benefits with your loved one.
Yours in Health,
Are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who also knows the ins and outs of therapeutic massage? look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Gift cards are available.
To Schedule your appointment today call 267-584-3015 or schedule online massagebluebell.com
Resources: Shryer, D. (2017). Breaking through: Autism + massage. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/3642/breaking-through-massage-autism
It was December of 2008, and my daughter was due any day. I was at Walmart getting a newborn medical kit with the suction bulb for stuffy noses and an extra bottle of Mylicon Infant Gas Drops. I waited in line patiently with my hand on my low back swaying to relieve pressure off my hips and ankles.
Then this terrible screaming high pitch noise came from over my shoulder ” Oh my Gosh you are beautiful” ( In my head: I know that lady do I know you?”) Then she puts both hands on my belly and her ear up to my stomach…
UMMM CUSE ME NUT CASE AUNTIE! GETCHO DIRTY HANDS OFF MY MIRACLE CHILD
Why do people think its ok to touch a pregnant mother’s belly? Some people think it is ok to just walk up and start rubbing on your belly.
It is not OK to walk up to a stranger and start touching body parts so WHY on earth would people think it’s ok to rub a pregnant woman’s belly?
Mom’s let me give you some SASSY Kung Fu Walmart line tips.
- Don’t be shy to say NO or block or slap their hand like a kid that is about to touch something he/she should not be touching. It’s your body. Speak up! Find your voice! Let me have it. It’s ok everyone will be on your side.
- Be firm you can say “ I don’t let strangers touch my baby”. If baby were in his/her stroller would you let a stranger walk up and touch him/her? NO! You would be in Lioness mode protecting her cub.
- Work your kindergarten kungfu double hand rotation paddle smackdown. That will freak them out.
Why do people touch pregnant bellies?
Can you believe is some cultures it’s believed to bring good luck to the person? Maybe I would allow it, if it were another woman trying to get pregnant, then I would understand her trying to catch it like it’s a cold by touching the belly. Most people cannot believe there is a miniature person curled up in there. We know it’s a blessing it’s a miracle, but not everyone has the privilege to touch the sacred belly.
Of course there will be times when you want some to rub on the belly. Once the baby starts moving and can be felt easily from the outside, you will want to share this special time with someone. Friends, family member, spouse, or partner, but not the stranger at Walmart.
Oh, It gets better! Walmart Auntie took her ear off my belly and moved in for a hug. I lifted both my hands in a claw-like manner and groped both her breasts. She screamed and said, “lady you are nutts.” I said, “takes a nutt to know a nut to call a nutt a nutt” then there was laughing and oooooh ing. Then I yelled “stranger danger.”
Honestly I didn’t care if anyone thought I was mean or could have handled it better. I was due in a few days, feeling fat, miserable and in pain. Besides, it was Walmart anything could happen.
And in case you reading this and thinking what the big deal is? The big deal is it’s illegal in PA. So before you go touching random bellies know you could be charged with harassment. And mom’s know your rights and speak up.