Healing Through the Power of Touch

The key for healing through the power of touch, is in the art of showing compassion in your touch!

'Tis the human touch in the world that counts - the touch of your hand and mine - Which means far more to the sinking heart than shelter or bread or wine. For shelter is gone when the night is o'er, and bread lasts only a day. But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice live on in the soul always.' - Spencer M. Free

The healing power of touch cannot be refuted. Human touch rules our very lives. Without human touch we die – maybe not our bodies, but our minds and our souls. The sense of touch and feeling are at the very core of our being, of the body-mind-soul connection.

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Experiencing the world through your senses is the way you process information that is useful to you. Imagine a world without sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch. Even if you lost only one of your five senses, it would be a much less enjoyable world.

The sense of touch and feeling is a sense that is paramount to your survival. A baby is enveloped in the warmth of the womb, and the amniotic fluid, gently cushioned against the hostile world as it develops. The embrace and warmth of the mother, after birth, is vital for the maternal-infant bond, and is essential for the baby’s survival.

The word ‘feeling’ itself is a metaphor for the sense of touch and the emotion that it elicits. Touch equals emotion, or a ‘feeling.’ You feel with your physical body and you ‘feel’ with your emotions. This is the power of touch. To touch and feel is the power of the body-mind-soul connection at work.

Flax Wildflower, Crested Butte, COFlax Wildflower near Crested Butte, Colorado

I believe that this use of language for ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ is no coincidence. When you ‘feel’ emotions, you also ‘feel’ it in your physical body, even though you have not actually ‘felt’ with your hands or the physical body. This is another reason why it is so important to understand the connection between the body-mind-soul. They are one. This is why the use of the Body Window is so important for you to grasp – the physical manifestation of your emotions that help you discover who you really are.

You can speak to one another through the healing power of touch. The physical language of the soul is through the power of touch and the emotions that it elicits.

When nothing is left to say, or you don't know what to say, you can convey your understanding and compassion, solely through a truly heartfelt, physical touch. This is the healing power of touch.

In my years of experience with patient care, never has a concept been so firmly sealed in my brain.

A patient can instantly tell the difference between a business-like touch and a compassionate, healing touch. You can communicate that you care or don’t care, in the way you touch.

How is this possible? How is this message conveyed, if touch were only a physical experience? Yet you even speak this metaphor when you say, “I was ‘touched’ by his words.” You are ‘touched’ by the act of kindness that both your mind and your physical body ‘feels.’ Others ‘touch’ your life. You say "Let's keep in 'touch.'"

The healing power of touch, the physical experience combined with the emotional experience to heal the soul is yet another example of the connection of the body-mind-soul or stated differently, it is the body-mind connection that leads to healing of the soul.

The Human Touch – It Makes or Breaks You

Touch is not an isolated physical event. The caring or lack of caring is transmitted through your hands, through the power of your touch. If what is said, and the physical sensation of touch you actually feel are incongruent, the physical touch will prevail. Physical touch has power over words - every single time. The power of touch is that significant.

If caring is transmitted through my hands by means of physical touch, but I am emotionally detached, the sensation of caring will not be transmitted. If I ‘care’ for a patient by bathing and dressing him/her but do not do it in a compassionate manner, while remaining detached, the physical touch will be read as cold, uncaring, hurried or at the very best, neutral.

This is why the old adage, when you were being paddled as kids, when the parent said, ‘This is hurting me more than it is hurting you,’ or ‘spare the rod, spoil the child,’ never worked. You never felt loved during this process.

One never says, “My parents were so good to me, and I felt deep acceptance for who I was, and I felt love and understanding while I was being paddled!” Or for that matter, immediately after you were paddled. Or when you became an adult and thought about your paddling.

In fact, what you probably felt when you were paddled was anger, defiance, feelings of being out of control and even rage, or perhaps submission to your repressed rage. Then these powerful emotions have to be suppressed, for later dealings.

In fact these feelings were most likely felt over and over again in you, if you were paddled and are honest with yourself. Correction of the misdeeds of children should never be coupled with physical pain of any nature, in my opinion. The power of touch that is applied in a manner intended to hurt, hurts us physically and emotionally and may leave deep scars.

A child who is coddled, and touched with the full love and caring that the power of touch can convey, that honors the child as an individual, is a healthy child. A child is always able to discern the physical touch that was meant to care and that which is detached, abusive or meant to harm.

When you want to care for a person that is grieving, hurting or suffering in any way, and you cannot find words to say, a caring, compassionate touch is all that is needed to convey your love. This is such an effective way to communicate.

The power of touch done in a loving, compassionate manner will convey all. No words will be needed. The healing power of touch encompasses all and heals all.

We often touch our pets, our dogs and cats with more caring and compassion than we do our fellow human beings!

A child that is touched inappropriately in an adult manner will be scarred for life. The kind of ‘caring’ that this abuse portrays to the child will forever distort his/her concept of love. The only healing that can occur after abuse is the surrender to the emotions that are currently manifested in your body.

In this case, using the Body Window to help you understand your stored emotions, the powerless feelings, the feelings of guilt, shame and confusion that exist deep inside you must be acknowledged, or dis-ease will surely be created in your body-mind-soul.

What is supposed to be the most powerful expression of love, human compassion and understanding is the single most abused sense you own – physical touch.

You may have also experienced horror through touch - physical beating, detachment and abuse. You all deserve more. When the power of touch is abused, the entire being, the body-mind-soul is affected. The physical body retains these scars and this deeply held pain.

The power of touch needed to heal your soul and heal your scars when you have suffered abuse is immense. You will need to at first recognize that Love and physical touch was not meant to be conveyed in an abusive manner but that Love could be experienced through the healing power of touch.

Seeking professional help from practitioners that convey this healing power of touch instead of the abusive power of touch will help you receive love and help you to heal.

Seeking Love through Grace (See Grace Pays a Visit ) will help you too. Self-love and self-caring of your physical body through seeking its messages can also help you if you have a deep desire for self-healing. You will need to reconnect with your body and love your body (See Body Blessing Prayer). If you ignore your body, ignore its messages, your dis-ease will only grow deeper.

How to Touch with Caring and Compassion

The only way to portray caring through the physical act of touch is to be totally present to the individual you are touching. Remember that through the power of touch, physical touch also ‘touches’ the body-mind-soul.

Your mind must be empty of your own self-absorption. You cannot provide caring and warmth through your hands if you are thinking about what you will be cooking for dinner or who won last night’s game. You must be thinking about the other person, and how it would feel to receive your touch.

Being present to the other person is so important in all your interactions with others. You all too often do not hear what others are saying, but are already formulating what you will say next.

We all think 2-5 steps ahead of the present moment, almost unconsciously. We are all so self-absorbed and not in the present moment!

Forget about words. Touch with your heart and soul. Honor the other being. I often say ‘namaste’ to the person as I touch him/her, which I loosely translate to mean, ‘the spirit in me honors the spirit in you.’

Or say a prayer for the person. Bless him/her and offer him/her to God and feel as if God is flowing from your hands to the heart of the other. The healing power of touch used in this manner is very great.

Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, COLongs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

A Personal Tale of the Power of Touch

I was providing in-home care to a patient dying of cancer. The cancer that she had was a particularly brutal form, in which she was unable to eat, but had to take all nourishment through a tube in her stomach.

As the end approached, her abdomen became distended and swollen with the tumor to the point that it was doubtful that any nourishment was being absorbed. The pain that accompanied the cancer and the abdominal distension was severe. It became extremely difficult to feed her, as her pain was increased during feeding. To move her caused her extreme pain.

Mercifully, her doctor allowed her to take the highest doses of narcotics until pain relief was achieved. Unfortunately, with the use of narcotics, the whole gastrointestinal tract slows down, adding to the problem of abdominal pain and distention.

In my care of my patient, I noticed that she had become crooked, and twisted in her upper body as she lay in bed. She needed to be positioned in a straighter and more comfortable position. I needed to lift up her upper body to reposition her, but I dreaded moving her and causing her more pain.

I remember hovering over her and talking to her in as soothing a voice as I could muster, as I gently stroked her face to let her know that I was going to lift her upper body and move it over to her left. With as gentle a movement as possible, I reached under her arms and gingerly lifted her towards me to move her. As I was letting her upper body down onto the bed, I felt her struggle and try to pull herself towards my face. I heard a weak but forceful sound from her lips. Although I couldn’t discern what she was saying, I felt her message. I moved my face towards hers as she kissed me on the cheek, an emotional kiss of thanks. As I kissed her back, I was so filled with warmth and sadness. This poor, dying soul was blessing me with a touch of gratitude.

From that moment onward, a new understanding existed between us. My touch now conveyed a deeper compassion and love and a deeper understanding of the power of human touch to comfort. My touch became more healing, as healing as it could be in her situation.

Mercifully, she died a few days later when her will to live finally succumbed to her desire to be pain free.

The Power of Healing Touch

Do not underestimate the healing power of touch. The power of touch to touch the soul for health and healing is great.

Bodywork practitioners who perform their art in this fashion are the greatest healers of all. Seek out such practitioners who are more meditative in their presentation to healing.

The traditional art of Thai Yoga Massage requires the practitioner to enter the session with a prayer-like, meditative and healing attitude! If only all our healthcare practitioners approached us in this manner with the power of healing touch on their hearts and minds. The world would be full of healthier and more whole individuals.

For now, seek your own physical, bodily truth. Practice the techniques found in my website to reconnect with your body, love your body, and seek the messages it has to say to you through your Body Window.

May your physical touch always be full of healing, honor and compassion to all those around you! Peace and Healing to you!

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