TITLE: TOUCH NICELY, PLEASE.
By Lorene Weaver
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TOUCH NICELY, PLEASE.
Years ago they did a study on the importance of touch. They used babies as their examples. They found that babies deprived of human touch did not thrive, in spite of the fact that they had every thing else provided for them.
It’s not just babies who don’t thrive. I just turned 65 today and I have been terribly lacking in human touch especially the last six months and I have gone down hill physically.
I do have a massage that averages every other week but during the summer it was less than that. My osteopath stopped seeing me about six months ago on a weekly basis. That’s when things went amok. Three surgeries, a lot of pain, loss of function and interaction have taken their toll.
I do have a husband. We finally went to separate bedrooms after my foot surgery but this has been a touchless marriage except to conceive three children and when sex was desired at other times. That touch was bumbling and unfulling. He just has never caught on even when I would try to show him by cuddling and hugging, or even when told directly that statistics prove that a woman needs to be touched at least 20 times a day to prolong her life - I don’t remember the number of years. The only part that touches for us is our lips in a series of three - with “I love you, have a good day, good by.” All touches probably totaling less than 3 seconds, as it is done with regularity, sort of like his daily bowel movements and with as much enthusiasm - let’s just get it over with.
This is how desperate I am. Even while on the surgery table and still awake the anesthesiologist apologized for pulling my gown apart at the shoulder and reaching into it to put an EKG pad just below my rib cage as he touched my breast on the way down. He had nothing to apologize for believe me. Even in my presleep state I appreciated the brush with touch.
I saw a male massage therapist for a couple of years. Now that was a touch! It could have easily turned into more than just massage, but it didn't. It just felt so good. My female massage therapist is very good but I need a man. The male DO satisfied the need for touch without the sexual connotation the massage therapist provided.
I realized when I saw another male DO and was briefly touched, that it isn’t the person doing the touching as much as it is the quality of the touch. I just met him as he had a student do the interview and do the initial exam. He’s pleasant, no where near as handsome as his student, yet he has learned the ability to touch
and feel deeply into muscles that are sore as well as being sensitive enough in touch to feel the fluid in your spine move or not move. It's so much more than just a pat on the arm! It's communicating on a different level.
I see him next week and am looking forward to it immensely. Besides the marvelous benefits of traditional osteopathy comes this extra bonus, at least for me - something much better than what was found in a Cracker Jack box!
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