No other form of communication is as universally understood as touch. The compassionate touch of a hand or a reassuring hug can take away our fears, soothe our anxieties, and fill the emptiness of feeling lonely.
Randi G Fine
Touch is hugely powerful. Have a hug, it makes you feel better, hold hands and feel a connection, stroke your cat under the chin, they purr yet somehow you feel happier. All of these things are gorgeously comforting which have the power to lift our spirits and let us relax.
We are genetically made to respond positively to touch. Newborns and babies who are affectionately touched and gently massaged release serotonin in their brains which is a happy chemical, this calms the baby and balances their breathing. We grow up to always need this kind of affection in our lives.
We are programmed to ‘touch’ giving us an instant boost because our skin has in the region of 5 million touch receptors. When these are activated our brains release immune boosting endorphins and oxytocin, known as the ‘love’ hormone which naturally make us feel happy.
But there is one more element of ‘touch’ that I really value – it’s power to heal us emotionally and physically.
Through this part of my blog I want to share with you the benefits of touch, partner stretch and my journey as an energy therapist – ultimately I want to share the tips and tricks I am learning to help you feel lighter, optimistic and happier.
Having trained as a solution-focused hypnotherapist and psychotherapist I decided to take my practice further by training as an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner. EFT is built upon the principle that our body is an energy system and that through everyday life ’emotional blockages’ can become trapped within our body. EFT releases this blocked energy through tapping on a series of points which are based on the body’s energetic meridian system. Anyone can tap on themselves, or as a therapist I can help a person work through releasing the energy by tapping on them while they focus on what it is they need to release.
So rather then using acupuncture needles in poignant energy points within meridians EFT practitioners release the energy through touch; a skill which is known as “tapping”.
By moving the blocked energy from the body, we allow ourselves to feel a lot more balanced and it also enables us to remove negative emotions which can actually affect our behaviours, habits and the way we perceive the world – our truth. The amazing thing about this therapy is that it is fast because it goes directly to the root of the cause and manages the problem out.
Through tapping we can also challenge our “truths” about ourselves that are preventing us and our bodies from doing amazing things. I’d like to share a little story that I think highlights the power of EFT and it’s instant benefit.
Our bodies are energy, our genes aren’t fixed contrary to belief – they are blueprints of possibility and can be changed based on our perceptions, beliefs and consciousness.
On the final day of my level two training we did some positive tapping, focusing on positive affirmations and developing optimistic thoughts about our futures. Having sat in a training room for three days I decided to test out EFT with something which I thought was ‘impossible’; I wanted to get my noes on my knees. To be clear when I went into forward fold I was at least 6 inches away.
I tapped through my beliefs and made positive statements about my body’s capability to do this, while also visualising out loud how it would feel when my nose and my knees met for the first time.I did this for around fifteen minutes over three five minute intervals. Every time I paused I realised I was getting closer, so what was happening? I have a number of thoughts on this.
First up, the tapping was clearing out some of the old beliefs I held in my body about my body’s lack of flexibility. Secondly the positive affirmations and statements were acting as some kind of placebo.
Within 15 minutes my nose was on my knees! I felt incredible and my whole body was buzzing with happiness. Even if I had completed ninety minutes of hot yoga I would never have been able to get my nose on my knees in forward fold – this development was really quite astounding.
To test it out again I ask my friend Laura if I could try it out with her the following day. Again, after 15 minutes she made awe-inspiring progress – not quite nose on knees as she had further to go but just about.
Wonderful proof that flexibility can be enhanced through the power of touch, stimulating the body’s energy points and self-belief.