We all hold one of the greatest powers in the universe in our own hands. It is the power of massage and tender touch.
The March/April issue of Positive Thinking had an item about the wonderful effect of massage on newborns. Those who were massaged by Mom and Dad gained more weight, slept better and were much less irritable. They also bonded better with their parents.
Why does this surprise us? Look at the physical trauma of birth itself. We talk a lot about the trauma of birth on the mother but think about painful it must be to the baby. I am thinking the child will be quite sore for several weeks after the experience. How good it will feel to be gently massaged. If you could see the picture accompanying that article of the face of the baby boy receiving a backrub from his mother, you would know how good it must feel.
I have never forgotten the power of touch taught in a basic psychology course at UT when I was working on my masters. One study covered the difference in baby monkeys touched and petted by their mothers compared with a group raised without touching and still another group mechanically touched and massaged by small machines. Baby monkeys raised without touch tended to have more diseases. Indeed, death among them was not uncommon. The mechanically touched babies did a little better but the healthiest babies by far were those often touched by their mothers.
A similar study of human babies in British foundling homes had the same result: babies touched and caressed by loving human hands did much better than those receiving less care and attention. Statistically, it saved many lives.
Massage feels good and that fact alone partially explains why babies receiving touch do so much better but Kirlian photography reveals another possible reason. We all have energy fields and those fields reflect in colors our moods and sense of physical wellbeing. Those colors that show up on the photographs are really electrical fields. When we massage an infant, we are likely transmitting our love and tender feelings through our energy fields.
Veterinarians have realized the power of human touch with animals. A chiropractor told me one of the growing fields of chiropractic is animal adjustment and a concomitant development is pet massage.
Our own experience and intuition speak to us of the blessing of being
touched. I was visiting a childhood buddy who was dying of a brain tumor. He was in a coma and my intuition told me to give him a rubdown. I took some oil and gave him a good massage and will never forget the look of bliss on his face. He had always called me “Pepper” when we were kids and I whispered in his ear, “This is Pepper. Smile if you know who I am.” He smiled from ear to ear.
When one of my spiritual heroes, Rev. Sallie Crenshaw, was dying she asked me to massage her. It was so gratifying to see how much it eased her pain.
I am certain the love life of most couples would be transformed by mutual massage. There is an old saying, “Men fall by sight and women by touch.” Massage covers both but I think there is another dimension of it called tender loving care. We are fragile beings and many of our loves have brought great pain. In most cases, the pain was caused by the absence of tender loving care. Mutual massage is the perfect way for a couple to express their deepest and gentlest feelings for each other.
My father was a master woodcraftsman and one of his best creations and gifts to me was a massage table. No home should be without one. It can save your marriage, make your baby smile, your cat purr and keep your baby monkey swinging from the chandeliers.
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