When I first moved to Victoria, I noticed something that immediately made me feel right at home as a naturally Kinesthetic (tactile/touch oriented) person... People hugged here, A LOT!
Maybe it was something about the “West Coast vibes” that seemed to attract the most open, and caring people, or because of the huge alternative and progressive subcultures that I was seeing families, friends of all ages, acquaintances, and even co-workers literally in constant touch with one another. Pats on the back, supportive rubs of the shoulder all the incidental gestures that are normally taken for granted were definitely not lost on me. It made me feel safe, made me look forward to socially interacting and joyfully anticipating being embraced by my community every time I stepped out of my house.
There's a reason it feels great to be physically touched. Touch has been an integral part of our society before we even had a word for “human! Our great great furry ancestors would spend hours grooming each other everyday, and not just because there was a lack of showers in the rain-forest resulting in bugs throwing parties on their fur! Grooming was a part of creating and maintaining important social and familial bonds within primates for millions of years. It soothes infants and let's them know they are being taken care of, it allows us to slow down our nervous systems and go from being in a fight or flight response to a “rest and digest” mode. It lets you know who your friends are and who you can trust. It strengthens immunity and uplifts mood with all those fantastic endorphin chemicals that we need to thrive...
So it was with equal grief that I lamented the loss of said touch in our community. Over the past year or so as a new found fear of touch was instilled in our everyday interactions. Socially distancing quickly turned into physical distancing, our personal space bubbles were expanded, handshakes were all but forbidden, and shaking hands or heaven forbid hugging anyone who you didn't live with... was pretty much a thing of the past. Is it any wonder that this year has seen unprecedented rates of negatively impacted mental health cases, more anti-social behaviour and all time highs of drug use and suicide rates through the roof?
How do you bring back positive touch in a safe way without the “Covid police” kicking down your door? What if there was a trusted way to get all those benefits of health oriented touch from a professional and dependable source? That's where RMT's come in. At a time when we all really need all the support we can get. Allow yourself to benefit from the knowledge, guidance and touch of a Registered Massage Therapist.
-Post By Iz Shafey, Registered Massage Therapist
This blog is collaborative collection of information provided by several of our therapists. We hope you find some useful information and tips.