This last Sunday, on CBS Sunday Morning, there was a segment called 'The fine art of cuddling.' In the segment Mo Rocca interviews "hug therapist" Steve Maher and professional cuddler Samantha Hess to learn more about the business of touch. As it turns out you can pay someone to cuddle with you and get your regular dose of touch. There are ground rules of course because this is purely platonic touching.
To some it may seem odd to pay someone so they can touch you. I have to admit at first I thought it was a little strange too. Then I started to think about how there are moments for me when I want nothing more than for my husband to wrap his arms around me and just hold me. Typically these moments come in our kitchen after a particularly long day. I usually do not even have to say a word. I just wrap my arms around him and bury my head in his chest. If I had my way I could stay like that for the rest of the night but dinner unfortunately does not make itself. After being held I feel so much better. It may not have taken all that is bugging me away but it does give me the sense that I can handle whatever it is. All from a few moments of touch.
There have been numerous research projects based on the benefits of touch. Touch has been shown to lower stress in our bodies as well as indicate a sense of trust and security. Here are a few articles discussing the power of touch:
Hands on Research: The Science of Touch
The Health Benefits of Physical Touch
Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much
The Benefits of Healing Touch
In the end I became curious to see if there were hug therapists or professional cuddlers here in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately I did not find anyone offering those services. It seems like a shame. Maybe this post will inspire someone here to create a business around this notion.
The closest I could come to a professional cuddler was healing touch and therapeutic touch practitioners. While both use touch to promote healing, it did not strike me as the same as cuddling. In many of the articles I read, massage therapy was mentioned as a means of benefiting from the power of touch. So it appears there are a couple of options to consider if you do not have someone at home to cuddle with or the person you have at home is not into cuddling as much as you are. While I did not find a professional cuddler in the Twin Citites I did find one in New York City and in Madison, WI. The NYC business is called The Sunuggery. The Madison business is called Snuggle House. Proof that this really does exist.
Until next time, remember that you could change the course of someone's day simply by giving them a pat on the back or touching their arm. Powerful stuff. Post a comment and let me know what your feelings about the power of touch are.
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. Thanks. Have a great day!