What is Skin Hunger?
Updated: Jan 16
Things have been pretty touch for people since the pandemic came about. Everybody having to wear masks, gloves, etc - Suit up - just about. It's insane to know that we basically have to live in a protective bubble if we don't want to sick with something by simply touching something.
That's crazy! Imagine what people from a hundred years ago would have thought if they knew were told, "In 100 years everybody is going to be in masks to live everyday life, and no one can touch each other!"
They would have looked at you like you were absolutely bonkers! Back in the day everybody was much more hands on.
Hands on meant touching. Touching is a big part of a humans development as well as it is for a humans healing and growth.
What does touch have to do with any of that?
The answer to that is real simple - if you know how important touch really is.
It's called Skin Hunger.
Psychologists have a name for this condition: “skin hunger.” Skin hunger describes our universal need to be touched and, like true hunger, the health consequences of being starved of it. The first thing we do to a newborn is plop her or him, skin to skin, right on mom’s chest. From the start, touch is life giving and is hardwired into our brains as a requirement for survival.
Touch is about as important is oxygen is to us. We need it to live!
Touch is EXTREMELY powerful.
It releases oxytocin, lowers blood pressure and cortisol, and boosts immune responses. To be held is a basic human need.
& the smallest of things like a high-five, a friendly handshake, a hug, and so on - especially for kids, can help us in ways we never actually paid attention to.
Now that we don't have it as much - it's shown how it's effecting people, especially in our children during their developmental years, they aren't as advanced as kids that receive a lot of touch.
Touch = Health
Positive touch also teaches kids to read social and emotional cues. “When you and your son are wrestling and it gets too rough, there’s that wonderful moment of negotiation,” says Michael Ungar, a Dalhousie University professor of social work and the author of several books, including We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids.
This is how kids learn about appropriate touch, what feels good, what doesn’t, and how relationships work — about boundaries, communicating your feelings, expressing your needs and responding to someone else’s.
Not only that but there are other things touch also does...
The Medicinal Effect of Touch
The cortisol-lowering effect that a hug, massage or other form of touch can have on someone who is sick can also offer healing effects. “Cortisol, when up, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammation — it can make healing harder, physically,”
So, I've pointed out just how IMPORTANT touch is to us humans as children and adults, it's insane how much this "no touch" is really effecting everyone now that you add that bit of knowledge into the equation, or at least for me it was.
The human touch can't be replaced very easily - that's a given, but it really has me wondering. What will or could this lack of touch do to a person who has problems with their mental health already?
How about someone who hasn't had issues with mental health but with this dramatic change and removing touch from life basically - will or could it cause a person to produce some mental health issues? Depression or anxiety possibly? It makes perfect since - cause I'm more than sure it would cause someone already suffering depression and/or anxiety to suffer with more heightened levels of either one.
It's shown in studies that touch, like hugs, cuddling, hand holding, etc, will lower depression and calm anxiety as well, but the lack of will cause effects entirely opposite.
It's even proven to build the immune system. How contradicting!
Touch builds the immune system- but now touch is the most feared thing among people currently.
Go figure, right?
I just felt like I should share that little bit of 411 with you guys. Interesting facts on just how vital touch really is to people and our every day lives as well as our mental health and development in general. Don't stop showing love, just be cautious you guys.
Ya'll take care and thank ya'll for taking the time out to read my post!
Over & Out~
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