Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Edging slowly closer to the frozen tundra
Re: No need for physical contact?
I'm taking a class called "The Science of Happiness". Taught out of UC Berkley, available for free on the website edx.org. I really encourage everybody who is interested in understanding themselves, their partners and humanity better to take it.
We just finished a section on physical touch.
Turns out we NEED it. The joy hormone oxytocin is released any time we touch another human - unless there's a reason to fear them, e.g., sleazy looking guy in a dark alley. The US and Britain have become lawsuit-happy and touch is rare.
The professors reported a study in which they observed pairs of people interacting at coffeehouses. They focused on couples that appeared not to be romantically involved, but just friends, and included same-sex friends and opposite-sex friends. How often did they touch? In Britain and the US, never. In France, 80 times per hour. In Puerto Rico, 150 times per hour. They didn't list statistics for elsewhere, but claimed the US, Britain and Germany were the only three places they could expect that in an hour, people might not touch.
The power of touch was first noticed in the 1940s...premature babies are known to have poor immune systems. Therefore, they'd be placed in incubators, fed through IV tubes, and nobody could touch them for fear of infection. The mortality rate was 90%. At some point, one hospital said "these poor newborns are only going to live a few weeks anyway, let's comfort them by holding them. Nurses began holding the babies, and the mortality rate dropped to 10%.
Thus, touch is literally "the touch of life".
There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie