The power of touch

I’ve always been a touchy-feely person. I have a very small bubble. I don’t mind the middle seat on an airplane. If someone brushes against me it’s no big deal. People that talk while touching my arm or hand don’t bother me. You don’t have to ask to give me a hug.

I know not everyone is like that so I respect their personal bubble. I don’t go in for a hug without asking (though I’m secretly hoping they say yes, of course).

Even before I was a nurse I understood the power of touch. It’s a big part of why I’ve loved being a nurse.

So many elderly people are not touched on a regular basis. They crave it.

I’ve worked with kids who have been touched so much by strangers in scrubs and gloves that they are terrified of the sight of gloves or scrubs. (Isn’t that so sad?)

Touch can be something that causes immense pain and trauma but can also soothe and heal.

As a nurse, I’ve had the unique experience of getting physically close to my patients, who are strangers to me…yet they are not.

When my elderly hospice patients would grab my hand and hold it to greet me while telling me they were waiting and looking forward to my visit, I could feel their sincerity through their hands.

When a little baby patient grabs my finger and holds on tightly or a toddler puts their arms around me, I feel so blessed to do what I do for them. Those baby touches are such a gift of trust and comfort.

I, imagine too, that my touch means something special to them as well. At least I’d like to think so.

I think we should be more aware of the power and beauty of touch.

I started doing some healing work through touch on my elderly dog, Barney, who has now passed. I know it felt good for him to get massages because he would come to me and beg for them, then totally relax when I gave them. A small gesture of thanks to another being who loved us unconditionally, never judged us, was quick to forgive and gave us countless hours of joy.

Dogs know the importance of touch. They know how to come to you to get their snuggles.

Sadly, in some families, after a certain age it really isn’t acceptable to give as many hugs and show affection through touch.

I’m so grateful my family isn’t like that. We kiss and hug when we see each other and then again when we depart and anytime we feel like it in between. “I love you” is a regular part of our vocabulary too.

I, personally, believe that touch is a very important part of healing. It is for me.

Recently, I’ve been having more pain. Especially at night when I lie down. I was up again the other night and found myself being overwhelmed with pain. I can handle a constant low level but sometimes it spikes and gets to the point that it becomes unbearable.

When my husband heard me crying he woke up. I didn’t mean to wake him because I knew he had to work in the morning. But like anyone who loves you, he was in tune that something was wrong.

My husband is the quiet type. He doesn’t say much but doesn’t have to. His comforting touch was pure love and healing. It was all I needed to get calm and fall asleep which I did while just saying “thank you” over and over as he dried my tears and rubbed my back.

I’ve been on lots of medicine in the past while trying to find relief. I can tell you from first hand knowledge that a pill can’t relieve pain like the touch of a loved one can.

Never, ever underestimate the power of touch. When you hug someone or put a hand on their shoulder, do so with love. I promise it will be felt at a much deeper level. We have the miraculous power to heal each other and should be using it. If we could see the energy we give to each other through loving touch, I imagine it would look like the most beautiful sparkling light. And who doesn’t want more of that?

Thank you for reading.

Virtual hugs from me to you!

May you be happy and well.

Photos below are of my patients and me.