by Alanna Ketler
in general is becoming increasingly unpopular due to a lot of fear
and worry around someone not reciprocating and potentially even
taking legal action.
There are many people who aren't the type to give hugs, and if you are, you know what I mean.
You can feel their level of discomfort and shock at times when you reach in for a hug.
Everywhere we turn
there is fear that a hug or act of physical affection could end up
in a lawsuit, people are more afraid than ever to reach out to
someone in need and it comes at a cost.
We are seeing professional cuddlers host workshops, parties, and one on one cuddle sessions for those who are feeling a lack of touch and comfort in their lives.
A cuddle retail centre in Portland, Oregon - Cuddle Up To Me - offers a menu of 72 ways to cuddle and can actually pay to be cuddled by those who consider themselves professionals.
The fact that a market for this even exists shows how disconnected we have all become from what is generally a natural part of humanity.
...exclaims Francis McGlone, a professor in neuroscience at Liverpool John Moores University and a leader in the field of affective touch.
He expresses his concern by saying,
He has heard of teachers asking children to stick on a plaster themselves, rather than touch them and risk a complaint.
While many might agree with what he is saying, there is still the very real issue that not only are some people closed off or opposed to touch, some people do not respect other people's boundaries and can take it too far, or come about it with an uncomfortable energy.
Touch is much more than just a stimulation of one of the five senses.
One of the nerve endings in our body, tactile afferents has been studied by McGlone for years and according to The Guardian, to find this nerve ending,
Hours can pass before anyone catches a gentle touch
nerve, but this elusive fibre has helped to teach scientists why
humans need touch.
When a parent strokes a child, for instance,
Researchers from University College London demonstrated last year how slow and gentle strokes from a complete stranger actually reduced feelings of social exclusion.
Ironically, having been
brought up in the 50s, when parental affection was thought to
encourage mawkish children, he is himself sensitive to touch, and
feels a gentle stroke 'like an electric shock.'
A gentle touch on the arm, hand on the shoulder or pat on the back is generally pretty harmless, but what about a hug?
A good rule of thumb is to not just approach a new person with
open arms, this might make them very uncomfortable, but you can ask
if they would like to share a hug.
You can also start with hugging your friends when you greet them, even if someone doesn't realize it, it's very likely that they could actually use a hug.
It's time to bring back
physical touch, love and affection...!