• Caroline Noon

Why we need to talk about touch

As we’ve developed Senss Serenity, we’ve seen our ideas take shape and spread across the media. As the world has gone into lockdown people have longed for hugs, talked of ‘touch starvation’, missed greeting each other with a kiss and tried to re-create social connections in virtual form! COVID-19 has changed everything about how we interact as a society - maybe for a very long time - so it will be all the more important to focus on our loved ones and think about how to combat isolation.

We need touch - according to scientists. In an opinion piece in The Guardian in May, Diana Spechler wrote:

“I’m healthy, food-secure, sheltered. Yet I feel a squirmy discomfort, my skin rebelling against its seclusion. When I described the sensation to the neuroscientist Dr Katalin Gothard, she speculated that I could be experiencing withdrawal. “Social touch stimulates the release of opioids and oxytocin in the brain,” she said; without touch, the brain has less oxytocin and fewer endogenous opioids, whose effects are similar to opioid drugs.”

Senss is all about creating connection through touch. Our whole story is about the mental and physical wellbeing we can create for our loved ones through massage. We thought it would be an uphill battle to get the message out but with all of us being deprived of touch in a way none of us could even begin to imagine, we are now so much more attuned to its loss.

Quoting Diana Spechler article’s again,

“Yesterday I held my right hand with my left,” Elisa Díaz Castelo, a poet in Mexico City, told me. “I was trying to remember what it’s like to be touched because I fear I might forget.”

Here’s to recognising the power of touch and how it might help us re-connect with loved ones (young and old) as we all come out of isolation. Here’s to recognising the power of touch to help alleviate anxiety and boost mental and physical wellbeing.

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