Touch, Caresses, Cuddles and Hugs – our unmet need

Why do people crave massage?  Just to alleviate aches and pains or is there something more elusive and profound that we search for…………..something to do with human touch being a basic human need……..

Gay and cousin share bath

Dr David Bresler in Free Yourself from Pain, proposes a programme of PAMPERING and becoming SELF-INDULGENT as one way to relieve pain. Maybe that is why we feel that massage is an indulgence, rather than an essential part of our self-care.

There’s a deep cry in us, children and adults – when we don’t get the touching, caressing and hugging that we crave.


I read in Dr. Bresler’s book about an experiment conducted at New York University Medical Centre, where sixty-four patients were divided into two groups, one group receiving  “therapeutic touch” from nurses twice a day.  The other group received only routine nursing care.  After just ONE day, the patients who had been touched showed significant increases in the hemoglobin levels of their blood; (haemoglobin is the element in red blood cells that transports oxygen from lungs to body tissues).  No such changes were found in the other group. Now that’s a result!

Holistic Healthcare professionals use this principle when giving bodywork for the relief of common aches and pains, deeply held emotional pain and discomfort that doctors have been unable to address successfully.   Human physical contact from an empathic, compassionate and skilled practitioner can be profoundly healing and supportive, while also giving space for the client’s emotions to be safely listened to, cleared and healed.

We know that this is part of a whole picture including:

  • clearing toxicity,
  • improving digestion and absorption,
  • supporting the energy generating systems of the body
  • improving the personal, social and community life of the individual

Just send me an email if you would like to have a chat (no obligation, free of charge) about how this would be helpful for you.

Author: Gabrielle Paras Richards

I've been a Naturopathic Healer since 1987, (qualified with my ND in 1996) and never looked back. Always been a "foodie," passionate about people having access to natural cures, personal development, spiritual development and healing, meditation, Chi-based movement, massage and bodywork, and not forgetting loving life and death.