About Me

My photo
My journey as a writer began as a child, but my first published book came as a result of my ovarian cancer diagnosis. The title is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received three awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. 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.


Valerie Swink said...

Ah! You brought back memories of the day I gave birth to Shelley (21 years ago). We had a home birth, and while Ken held my hand, my mom and 2 dear girlfriends stroked my legs as I went through contractions. It was so calming - I'll never forget their loving hands and how wonderful it felt. Shelley slid out with ease in under 2 hours. I've used healing touch many times - still do. It is such a natural instinct, isn't it?

Karen Ingalls said...

Thank you for sharing about such a joyful and meaningful event.

Servivorgirl said...

Wow, I wish that everyone knew healthy healing touch and weren't afraid to either give it or receive it. Think of the homeless people who never get touched. Isolated people who are sick, who only get touched at the doctor's office.

I want a pet....I can't take it any more. I'm living alone now. I loved living with my mom while on and after chemo. Having a loving person around you is so healing, even if they get upset from time to time (cancer causes so much stress).

Now i am alone. I went to a pet shop a few weeks ago, a little kitty was up for adoption. I touched it's nose and a wave of energy flushed through me..............

Thank you for sharing................Peace

Karen Ingalls said...

When I had my counseling practice in my home office, several clients wanted my Siamese cat in there with them. They found comfort and peace just petting him or having him near them.

I think it would be a great idea for you to have a pet...especially a cat which takes less energy to care for. Let me know what you decided.