As we sit with what is

How are you doing? We really want to know. We notice that we're having to work harder to feel connected to ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. We're doubling (tripling, quadrupling...) down on the practices that help us feel centered, calm, and aware of our bodies. And of course one of the major reasons for this is that we are all deprived of communicating through our first and most vital language: touch. Those of us who are bodyworkers are now keenly aware of how many conversations we used to have in our primary language, and how nurturing that was not just for our clients, but for us, too. Even for those who have loved ones at home, the number of physical interactions we have has dwindled. No handshakes or hugs meeting friends and colleagues. Making sure to keep at least 6' of distance whenever we do venture out. For those of us who are first responders and on the front lines, physical interactions are through layers of protective barriers (when we have them). There's a natural tendency to recoil, and then to recoil from that recoiling. It all takes a toll. It's not natural for us to avoid touching each other. This well-written article summarizes all the reasons why.

One way to counter touch deprivation is to provide our bodies with input that engages our touch receptors.  As a reminder: Wear soft clothing that feels good to touch. Use heavy blankets to give the body’s touch receptors comforting input. Put on lotion slowly, with kindness and attention to sensation.

As we wrote last month, caring touch is one of the most effective ways we human beings have to reduce our stress. Yes, physical distancing is an effective way to limit the spread of illness. We recommend that we infuse the touch we *do* have, even if it's mundane, with connection and love. This will help us reap the benefits of even the most limited touch.

We wish you all well in mind, body, and spirit.

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Kate Mackinnon & Robyn Scherr | Touch ADVOCATES | Headquartered in the SAN FRANCSICO Bay Area

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