I answered Sol's query, "What non-diet interventions have improved your health?" with a story about the ways in which dance has brought out the animal in me. I touched on the importance of skin-to-skin contact, but thought it would make an interesting question/thread in its own right.
I haven't slept well these past couple of weeks. At first I blamed it on the barn owls, on the series of mournful hoots that peppers these spring evenings. But the birds have never bothered me in the past; their call lulls me to deeper sleep. I made a list of the foods I've eaten, noted exercise and water intake. Must be a pattern, I figured, a tangible reason why my pillow no longer offered solace. Took a couple of days but I sorted through it and discovered something. Touch. Or a lack of it, rather. I haven't danced in a few weeks, and though I've gotten the same amount of exercise in other ways, I haven't been held in a man's arms, haven't felt the rush of sensuality that dance gifts.
As a single woman, I have found dance to be my salvation. I haven't dated in some time, seems like my teenaged sons steal my dating time with school event and homework needs. I know, too, that I'm not alone.
I'm wondering how important you feel touch is in your paleo life?
Do you crave touch? Do you find ways to bring it into your life?
In what ways has touch enriched you? I know for me, I sleep better, my mood improves, even my response to stress seems lighter, more positive and proactive.
I'm wondering, too, if self-massage would offer similar benefits during those weeks when school and work collide in a fiery explosion.
So essential, IMO. We are mammals and operate like "packs" in may ways...
When I was single, I traded coaching sessions for weekly massages from a couple of talented practitioners. It helped me stay "in touch" with myself and feel loved.
I also had a furry Husky Shepard and he slept with me when I didn't have a boyfriend over.
I think it's about connection even more than touch--so self-massage is helpful, but not a replacement.
I did a huge term-project on the placebo effect, and found that a lot of treatments that shouldn't necessarily have a strong physiological effect would have a really massive one the more the practitioner touched and manipulated the bodies of the patients. I think it is really important, and I know that when my boyfriend goes fishing and we are apart for a long time I start to physically contact friends and family way more- more hugging, more leaning on them, just looking for some contact. I have one really good buddy that was going through a rough time last year during fishing season, and we decided to share a bed (with no sexual connotation, he is homosexual and we weren't looking for that kind of contact) and we both just felt so much better waking up next to each other and being able to hug each other whenever.
Whenever a friend or family member is widowed my mother always brings gift certificates for massage along with a whole bunch of food, because she always says they'll need it when they're ready. I think after working in the hospital for her whole life, she sees how important being able to hold someone's hand or rub someone's back and shoulders is. She used to bring us to the hospital sometimes on her day off and we would give some of the elderly widowed ladies manicures, pedicures, food massages, and hand massages, and it always made them tear up they were so happy. Some of them hadn't been touched, except to be shuttled to different hospital rooms or poked at by doctors, in ages.
I think self massage is really great for staying in contact with yourself, but saving up for some massages (you can go to massage schools for a deal too) would be a great way of getting some human contact.