The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect of Touch

29 Mar The Ripple Effect

How skin-to-skin contact effects the brain body connection.

TOUCH has a ripple effect

“Skin-to-skin contact influences neurological processes such as brain development and function, hormonal balance, mood and behavior.” Source:  Harvard Medical School Newsletter: Recognizing the Mind-Skin Connection. October 2006.

While most of touch research is analyzed and recorded in early years of life, it is not only infants that continue to benefit from safe supportive touch.

Our skin makes up for 16% of our total body weight, covering approximately 22 square feet of an adult’s body!
That’s give us plenty of opportunity to interact with millions of neurons that send signals to the brain for those neurological processes such as brain development and function, hormonal balance, mood and behavior.

NEW MASSAGE RESEARCH continues to uncover the “WHY” BEHIND TOUCH BENEFITS in this article by Massage Magazine. Touch deprivation and its link to poor health – physically and mentally, continues to be documented by the Touch Research Institute. This article specifically addresses the high correlation between the COVID19 lockdowns resulting in touch deprivation related to “anxiety symptoms, to depression symptoms, to sleep problems, to PTSD symptoms, to boredom, to loneliness.”


Now what? Well, we have already gotten a taste of “contact free’ in 2020. Viral videos featuring HUGS, hugs and more HUGS! What does that tell us? Yes, 20 second or longer hugs are very important, but TOUCH in general and how much it means to us physically and psychologically! But as Dr. Fields points out this interview, it is not just any touch. The most positive effects specific skin-to-skin contact “come from moving the skin. That stimulates the pressure receptors under the skin, which send messages to the brain — mainly to the vagus nerve, which has branches in virtually every part of the body — that slow the nervous system down. So you get decreases in heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones. You get changes in the brain waves to theta activity, or relaxation waves. You also increase the natural killer cells, which ward off viral cells, bacterial cells, and cancer cells. 

How To Make Contact

Believe it or not the simple HEALTHY act of washing your hands is a great start to encourage skin moving! Skin moving may also be accomplished during self touch and things like yoga and exercise. It goes without saying that Tao services meet all the requirements for skin moving, the skin-to-skin contact to meet the “deep kneads” of neurological, mental and physical benefits!