Thursday, 1 November 2012

Healing with touch

Ever since I was a teenager – lying on my bed with my legs up the wall – I have been fascinated with feet. I used to stare at my feet for hours. They have such a character of their own. Little did I know back then, that this love affair would lead me to an incredible career and a gateway to a lifetime of healing.

One of the ways I earn a living is by giving reflexology treatments. I LOVE doing this! I absolutely adore holding someone’s feet in my hands and sensing any creaks and crunches that relate to various body parts. It astounds me how much of a story someone’s tootsies can reveal. I believe there is an art to kind and healing touch, and it goes a long, long way in my book.

Touch is vital from the moment we leave the womb until the moment we take our final breath. Children who are starved of loving touch are shown to be more anxious and suffer developmental delays. So being graced with naturally healing hands I feel very lucky whenever anyone asks for a treatment. It’s so much of a two-way deal. But touch isn’t something that should be limited to a professional interaction, in my opinion, we could all do with sharing more physical interaction.

A friend of mine gave birth to her very first child this week – a gorgeous baby girl called Mia. Delicate Mia had some trouble turning her head while being born, and as a result needed to be helped along with the use of forceps. This life-saving event left her with some serious scalp trauma (she’s getting better each day), and due to the pain she’s in, cannot be held or breastfed by her mother. Not just yet, anyway.

My friend hasn’t yet been able to cuddle her newborn baby, which, as someone who hasn’t had children, perhaps I can’t fully understand, but I can certainly understand an unmet yearning for touch. Both mother and child are desperate to connect physically and it breaks my heart to hear that in situations such as this, the most natural and instinctive drive must be tamed in order to assist with Mia’s integumentary healing. Which of course is necessary.

Fortunately, Mia is able to receive loving back stroking from her mum and dad but as yet, a full cuddle has not been her experience. Imagine the day when that happens! Oh, the joy and tears!

Many of us are blessed with the ability to hold and be held, to pamper and stroke the ones we love. So however you express loving touch, be it through giving or receiving a massage, reflexology or a deliciously warm cuddle to your child, best friend or lover, remember there are some who do not have this privilege, so feel your way with love and give hugs and cuddles as often as you can.