- Karen Ingalls
- Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
The Healing Power of Touch
Some of you are friends of Betty Sue, who suffered a serious stroke a few days after her double mastectomy surgery. As I wrote her "get well" card I became struck with an overwhelming desire to wrap my arms around her and hug her tight. Unfortunately I cannot do it physically, because visits are limited to the immediate family. For now I send her hugs through my prayers.
The skin is our largest sense organ and is a part of the other four senses (taste, smell, hearing, and sight). Even as an infant, it 'knows" good or safe touch versus negative or dangerous touch. The body responds to healthy touch with the release of endorphins who calm and heal; yet in times of negative touch, adrenaline is released to put us in a state of "fight or flight".
I grew up in a house where there was not a lot of healthy touch so I had to learn how to give and receive loving touch. Thanks to my grandparents, some friends, and God I learned! The beauty, fun, joy, and healing power of loving touch won me over quickly, because the real me was craving it. Since then I have made healthy touch a part of me as a mother, wife, grandmother, friend, nurse, and even to strangers. I wrote my master's thesis on the subject of healthy touch.
Since the beginning of my journey with cancer the importance of touch has only increased. During chemotherapy I especially needed to be touched from a simple touch on my shoulder to a full embrace. Though bald, dark circles under my eyes, and pale, I was still the same person. I am blessed that all my friends and family members are touchers, which contributed to my recovery physically, emotionally and mentally.
So far this blog has been about physical touch, but I believe there are emotional and spiritual forms of touch which will be discussed in future blogs. Share with me how touch has impacted you.