Wellness Pathway #168: Stress Relieving Touch

Given world events, it seems appropriate to focus on stress reduction for this week’s Wellness Pathway. In prior issues, I have written about the value of breath work and meditation. This week I want to focus on the importance of touching. Everyone knows that infants require frequent touching in order to thrive. Most people fail to recognize that the human need for touch does not change over the course of a lifetime. Adults need as much touching as little children, although most of us fail to even come close.

Touching is not the exclusive purview of intimate relationships. There are many wonderful touch therapies, including massage, chiropractic, and acupressure. I also like the exercise for mindful self-touching developed by Eliott Cherry, titled “Fingertips Calm The Mind.” (1) Change position. (2) Touch something. (3) Breathe deeply. (4) Close your eyes. (5) Stroke surface gently. Pay attention to everything your fingertips feel. Trace imaginary patterns. Notice textures, contours, temperatures, and other subtle variations. (5) Relax. Drift off to sleep, if you want. (6) Breathe deeply. (7) Open your eyes. (8) Shake your arms. This simple exercise of stress relieving touch can be practiced daily for optimal relaxation and health.

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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