The Power of Touch

From http://shareinspirequotes.tumblr.com

In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.

The benefits of touch start from the moment we’re born. A review of research, conducted by Tiffany Field, a leader in the field of touch, found that preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for 5-10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who’d received standard medical treatment.

From http://www.lookymommy.com

As Kelly Bartlett points out, being regularly physically affectionate with kids of all ages helps maintain the emotional connection they share with their parents. When that bond remains strong, challenging behavioral situations decrease and discipline becomes less intense overall.

From http://www.everydayfamily.com

Games involving person-to-person contact (e.g. horsey rides, piggy back rides, wrestling, tag etc.)  promote the release of positive brain chemicals and bring families closer together in a fun, physical way.

How To Advise A Couple Starting A FamilyFrom http://www.investopedia.com

As children grow and become more independent and social, opportunities for cuddling naturally diminish, and it becomes important for parents to take extra effort to find ways to physically connect with them. Reading to a child or even watching a movie on the couch is a wonderful way to get close, as it invites leaning into, lying on, snuggling, touching, and arm-wrapping.

From http://hopesays.wordpress.com

And educators, take note: A study by French psychologist Nicolas Gueguen has found that when teachers pat students in a friendly way, those students are three times as likely to speak up in class.


From http://seattletimes.com

Touch is very important for adults too. According to scientists, touch reduces both physiological and perceived stress; touch causes one’s stress hormones, such as cortisol, to decrease while causing other hormones, like oxytocin, to increase which promote social bonding and wellness.

Happy friends
From http://www.oprah.com

According to Dacher Keltner, touch is our primary language of compassion, and a primary means for spreading compassion. In fact, in his research he has found that people can not only identify love, gratitude, and compassion from touches but can differentiate between those kinds of touch, something people haven’t done as well in studies of facial and vocal communication.


From http://www.artofmanliness.com

Interestingly enough, two gender differences have been identified in Dacher Keltner’s research:

  • when a woman tried to communicate anger to a man via touch, he got zero right—he had no idea what she was doing!
  • when a man tried to communicate compassion to a woman via touch, she didn’t know what was going on!

 The Gender Dictionary helps resolve arguments and relationship problems caused by gender communication differences.
From http://genderdictionary.drkarengaillewis.com/

It might seem surprising, but touch may mean more to men than they let on: A 2011 study by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction polled more than 1,000 men and their female partners in five countries about the power of touch and found that for men between the ages of 40 and 70, regular cuddling was more important than sex. The more men hugged and kissed, the happier they considered their relationships.


From http://sarahjwatsonmassagetherapy.tumblr.com/

There are times—during intense grief or fear, but also in ecstatic moments of joy or love—when only the language of touch can fully express what we feel. This video is an invitation for people to relearn the power of touch. There’s much to be gained from embracing our tactile sense—in particular, more positive interactions and a deeper sense of connection with others.

Did you touch someone today?

😉

THE END

 

Breastfeeding – a mother’s gift of love and care

“Breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth.”

Pamela K. Wiggins

breastfeeding-close-up
From The rants in my pants

Mother’s milk, time-tested for millions of years, is the best nutrient for babies. Numerous studies have demonstrated a number of important health benefits to breastfeeding. Among them:

  • Breast-fed children are more resistant to disease and infection early in life than formula-fed children
  • Breast-fed children are less likely to contract a number of diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15
  • Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life, are able to lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Babies also benefit from the physical closeness of nursing. Gazing into their mothers’ eyes, babies come to understand that they are loved and protected and that their mothers are there to provide for their needs.

In addition, breastfeeding releases hormones in mother’s body that promote mothering behaviors. This emotional bond is as vital as the nutritional benefit babies receive from breastfeeding. Scientists now tell us that infants learn best in a context of emotional closeness with an adult. Breastfeeding promotes a growing attachment between mothers and their babies that will continue to play an important role in baby’s development for years to come.

Many women report feeling uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, even doing so discreetly. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for women to stay home all the time. They need to go out to do shopping and other household chores, or to take their children for a walk. Therefore sometimes mothers do need to breastfeed their babies in public. Please, be kind to breastfeeding mothers. Their need your support and understanding. Don’t make them feel bad for breastfeeding in public. Don’t force them to hide in the public toilets to feed their babies. Don’t shame them – there is nothing shamefull in mothers’ commitment to feed their babies whenever they need it. They should be praised instead. Please, don’t make them feel like in the Hollie McNish’s video “Embarrassed” provided below.

At first
I thought it was ok
I could understand their reasons
They said ‘There might be young children or a nervous man seeing’
this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting
so I whispered and tiptoed with nervous discretion.
But after six months of her life sat sitting on lids
Sipping on her milk nostrils sniffing up piss
Trying not to bang her head on toilet roll dispensers
I wonder whether these public loo feeds offend her?
Cos I’m getting tired of discretion and being ‘polite’ as my baby’s first sips are drowned drenched in shite,
I spent the first feeding months of her beautiful life
Feeling nervous and awkward and wanting everything right.
Surrounded by family until I stepped out the house
It took me eight weeks to get the confidence to go into town
Now the comments around me cut like a knife
As I rush into toilet cubicles feeling nothing like nice.
Because I’m giving her milk that’s not in a bottle
Wishing the cocaine generation white powder would topple
I see pyramid sales pitches across our green globe
and female breasts banned.  Unless they’re out just for show.
And the more I go out, the more I can’t stand it,
I walk into town feel I’m surrounded by bandits
Cos in this country of billboards covered in ‘tits’
and family newsagents’ magazines full of it
Whsmith top shelves out for men – Why don’t you complain about them then?
In this country of billboards covered in ‘tits’
and family newsagents magazines full of it
Whsmith top shelves out for men, I’m getting embarrassed
In case a small flash of flesh might offend.
And I’m mot trying to ‘parade’ this, I don’t want to make a show
But when I’m told I’d be better just staying at home
And when another friend I know is thrown off a bus
And another woman told to get out the pub
Even my grandma said maybe I was ‘sexing it up’.
And I’m sure the milk makers love all this fuss
All the cussing and worry and looks of disgust
As another mother turns from nipples to powder
Ashamed or embarrassed by comments around her and
As I hold her head up and pull my cardy across and she sips on the liquor made by everyones God, I think
For God sake, Jesus drank it
So did Sidhartha, Muhammed and Moses and both of their fathers
Ganesh and Shiva and Brighid and Buddha and I’m sure they weren’t doing it sniffing up piss as their mothers sat embarassed on cold toilet lids
In a country of billboards covered in ‘tits’
In a country of low cut tops cleavage and skin
In a country of cloth bags and recycling bins and as I desperately try to take all of it in,
I hold her head up
I can’t get my head round
The anger towards us and not to the sounds
of lorries offloading formula milk
into countries where water runs dripping in filth
In towns where breasts are oasis of life
now dried up in two for one offers, enticed by labels and logos and gold standard rights
claiming ‘breastmilk is healthier powdered and white’
packaged and branded and sold at a price so that nothing is free in this money fuelled life.
Which is fine
If you need it or prefer and can afford to use bottles, where water is clean and bacteria boiled,
but in towns where they drown in pollution and sewage
bottled kids die and they knew that they’d do it
In families where pennies are savoured like sweets
We’re now paying for one thing that’s always been free
In villages empty of hospital beds
babies die, diarrhoea fuelled that breastmilk would end
So no more will I sit on these cold toilet lids
No matter how embarrassed I feel as she sips
Cos in this country of billboards covered in ‘tits’
I think I should try to get used to this.

THE END

Happy Earth Day !

“The earth is what we all have in common.”

Wendell Berry

Mother Earth
Today is Earth Day, a day to appreciate Earth and the environment. People celebrate Earth Day in many ways: Some clean up their local park, others work on educational efforts or even donate to their favorite environmental charity. What can you do to honor Mother Earth?

Danielle Nierenberg suggests the following 13 Things Everyone Can Do in 2013:

1. Eat more colors

The colors of fruits and vegetables are signs of nutritional content. A richly-colored red tomato has high levels of carotenoids such as lycopene, which the American Cancer Society reports can help prevent cancer, as well as heart disease.

2. Buy food with less packaging

Discarded packaging makes up around one-third of non-industrial solid waste in industrialized countries, with negative impacts on the climate, and air and water quality. Choosing foods with less packaging can also be better for our waistlines, since highly processed foods that are low in nutrients generally use more packaging than more healthful, less processed options.

3. Choose seasonal produce

Earth Day offers a great opportunity to bring more seasonal fruits and vegetables into diets. Many farmers markets sell products that are in season. Locally sourced, seasonal products can also be found at major grocery stores.

4. Get in touch with agriculture

This time of year, many people are starting to plan vacations. A great way to skip the crowds, save money, and get both children and adults in touch with agriculture is to book a farm-stay.

5. Get creative in the kitchen

Shopping at farmers markets, which often have a wide selection of less-ordinary produce such as celeriac, sunchokes, or kohlrabi, can prevent “food ruts” by helping consumers try new foods.

6. Invest in perennial crops

Perennial plants — plants that grow back every year — tend to hold water in soil more effectively than annuals and help prevent erosion. Their extensive roots also allow them to better access nutrients and water, reducing the need for artificial fertilizer.

7. Reclaim abandoned spaces

As populations continue to expand, especially in cities, reclaiming unused land and buildings for food production can help meet growing demand.

8. Build local and global food communities

A great way to get involved in food and agriculture issues is with Slow Food International, an organization with more than 1,300 groups around the world called convivia. These groups support healthy, sustainable diets and traditional food cultures.

9. DIY

Many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) food projects are easy and fun. Turning old t-shirts into produce bags to save plastic, starting seeds in eggshells, which can then be crushed for transplanting into the soil, and DIY foods such as homemade oat or almond milk can all add a creative twist to healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Plus, they are lots of fun for families.

10. Cook in batches and freeze for later

Planning meals in advance can help reduce stress around cooking. It also helps reduce food waste, which is a big problem in industrialized countries A great way to reduce waste and make planning easy is to cook large batches of a single meal, such as soups or curries, which can be frozen and reused on short notice later in the week.

11. Brighten your outlook

At the recent Warwick Economics Summit in February, Warwick University Economics Professor Dr. Andrew Oswald presented his research on health and happiness, focusing on the link between happiness and consumption of fruits and vegetables. His team of researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables directly improves a person’s mental well-being, separate from other variables such as income level and how much meat a person ate. This research is supported by a similar study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found a link between patients’ blood-level of carotenoids, compounds commonly found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and their feelings of optimism.

12. Use crop rotation

Crop rotation is an important way to preserve soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and protect against crop diseases and pests.

13. Embrace conviviality around the table

Talking and laughing while sharing food is a uniquely human experience. Conviviality, joyful and friendly interaction, is found at markets and around the dinner table, and it supports healthy relationships and healthy bodies.

Let’s every day be the Earth Day 🙂

THE END