Aside from the benefits we all think of when we think of massage and touch therapy: tension release, healing from strains, sprains, pulls and relief for overworked areas, increased flexibility and ease in the joints etc., there are some other amazing effects of touch that are worth noting.
Touch is the first sense to develop in infants. Positive touch releases the hormone Oxytocin, which fosters a sense of well-being and happiness, and helps one to maintain an optimistic outlook on the world. Oxytocin also helps generate feelings of compassion and bonding which expands our trust.
Touch increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and relieve feelings of anxiety.
Touch improves the function of the immune system, helping us to maintain health and fight off disease. It can lower blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol levels and help to stimulate memory.
For more information you can look to Tiffany Field, the Head of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.