The Power of Touch

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Dec 1 2005 - 8:27am

"It is the magic of a touch, the power of a hug... that make life joyful." This is a portion of my essay in high school. My teacher loved it. She even thought that a professional writer honed the article for me.

Her skepticism was a compliment at the time. Her disbelief was a subtle way of saying that I had some writing ability. You know what? I bragged about it for days.

What is the power of touch anyway?

Science tells us that a touch triggers the release of brain endorphins: an endogenous analgesic more powerful than heroin or morphine. But touch is more than just a scientific confluence of brain chemicals.

My late grandmother used to tell me that the only way to tame a wild cat was to rub the cat's forehead several times. One day, a relative from the mountain village gave my family a wild female cat. She was small but fierce. Nobody in the house dared to touch her.

Grandma's wisdom compelled me to try. I approached the cat. Initially, she would jump and would bend its body and tail in rage. Meanwhile, a loud, ferocious cry would come out from her vicious mouth. Each time I attempted to touch her, she would run away. Eventually I prevailed. She later gave in and allowed me to rub her forehead: initially, for a few seconds, then for a few minutes.

After a few days, she considerably softened that she would allow me to rub her head almost no end. Eventually she became my pet. We became very close that she would run to meet me when I come from school and would convey a lonely cry when I depart. Yes, like real close friends.

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A touch can indeed tame a wild animal. But can it tame and soften a disturbed child? A study shows that children who have not been hugged enough have a tendency to be violent and aggressive compared to those who receive hug more often.

Perhaps, there is more to hug and touch than just release of endorphins.

A touch provides comfort in a freezing night. It makes us feel secure because it unites us with an affectionate, loving, and feeling human being. The warmth it brings is better than the warmth a fireplace can provide.

A touch shields us from the worries of today because of the confidence it brings. Like internet, it allows high-speed access to another soul.

When my wife hugs me at night, I can feel that all my aches and concerns of the day disappear instantly. I feel refreshed and transformed. I feel recharged, a dynamo ready to capture dreams and to take risks. When I come home after a full day's work and my kids hug me, I feel an immediate relief. I then celebrate joyfully.

A touch makes the body aversive to stress. Indeed, touch is the best remedy we need to own and claim forever and it's free.

Copyright 2005. Dr. Michael G. Rayel - author (First Aid to Mental Illness "Finalist, Reader's Preference Choice Award 2002) psychiatrist, and inventor of Oikos Game.

This page is updated on May 3, 2013.

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Comments

I'll just let you in on a little secret that my husband and I know. You can laugh about if you want to but it is really true. Some married friends of ours told us some time ago about how the key lime pies from Anita's and Kutchie's Key Lime Pie Factory in Asheville, N.C. near the Biltmore House had completely changed their sex life for the better and in a most positive way. Not sure but we believe that Anita and Kutchie's famous pies have a way of super charging people's endorphins as well as multiplying them very rapidly. Like within just minutes after consuming the pie we find ourselves butt naked, our cloths ripped to shreds and lying all over hell and back and we are ready to get it on. Some say it is something magical but I don't think we believe in magic. While some others have suggested that maybe Anita and Kutchie were probably adding beta Glucan into their recipe. We don't know if we buy that theory either. I mean it probably could drop your cholesterol and has been proven to cause apoptosis in cancer cells but give me a break. How can a key lime pie cause a man and a women to become super charged multi-osgasmic and going at it up to 24-hours. Just answer me that. I've normally been able to orgasm two, three and sometimes even four times in the past. My husbands all-time record was three times in a single night and that was back in college when he did that. Since then he would really have to be turned-on and much much stimulation to get off twice in one night. Now, if after dinner we split one of Anita's and Kutchie's Key Lime Pies then we have been able to go at it like rabbits for that night and most of the next day or until we are so damn sore and stiff that we can hardy move. The desire to continue remains but these forty something bodies after jumping each others bones for 18 to 20 hours get to where they just refuse to cooperate any longer. I'll tell you this, if you want to see for yourselves just what the key lime pie can do for you're erotic love life, do like we do and try it on a Friday evening so you can have the rest of the weekend to recuperate from your 20 hours of erotic bliss and pure enjoyment. We still haven't come to any conclusions as to what the secrets to Anita's and Kutchie's Key Lime Pies are but we sure as hell are having a great time trying to find out. We hope that we never do find out to be honest. And if any of you do figure it out, then please keep-it to yourselves. We sure hope our story touched a lot of you folks out there and that having this knowledge can keep you couples happy and in love forever and ever. If we can save just one marriage by telling you our little secret then that alone will make it worth-it for us. Thank you Anita and Kutchie Pelaez, you sure have made this world a sweeter place to live in. We Love You Guys, please keep the ovens hot and please keep baking your "MAGICAL??" Key Lime Pies Forever. the Cavetts