Touch and Loving Relationship
By Michael de Glanville and Viola Edward….
Relationship concerns the connection between people. It is about how we communicate with each other, how we relate with our family, our friends and colleagues and most importantly with our beloved partner or companion. As we have described in our previous articles on communication, it is a process of exchange and its success requires contact, connection and, above all, understanding.
Reach out a hand.
In the context of the loving relationship, we depend largely on the spoken word to communicate, using the language of words and we can also enjoy the pleasure of personal presence and the language of touch. For example, as we talk and listen, we sit close together touching knees, we exchange thoughts and gesticulate as we describe ideas, we hug away fears or kiss away tears, we tell stories and laugh together, embrace and dance with each other, reach out a hand to touch an arm or a cheek as we express wishes and maybe seek the support of a shoulder for our head as we confide our feelings.
Language of loving touch.
The attraction between male and female and the knowledge of sexual relationship has existed from the very beginnings of mankind’s history. Our successful survival as a species has depended upon these relationships and equally on our ability to procreate, proliferate and evolve. We can deduce therefore, that we have a longer story with touch than we do with speech, for as our evolution continued to proceed and we were developing our ability to communicate more richly with the spoken word, we had already understood the power of another language of communication, the language of loving touch.
Touch security and comfort.
To understand how fundamental and primal this language is to us, imagine the foetus in the womb of the mother. As its consciousness develops and the senses begin to relay sensations to the growing awareness of the new spirit, the most constant sensations that are present, during those initial months of life, are the fluid warmth and the delicate enfolding contact of the containing uterus with the skin of the foetus. As the unborn baby develops, those feelings of security and comfort are always associated with the experience of being contained, held and touched. It is no surprise then, to find that this strong and primal association between touch, security and comfort has such a lasting presence in our subconscious and conscious minds.
Meanwhile, civilisation has never seen such a proliferation of means to connect and communicate with others, near or far. The technical development of social media, the mobile phones and messages, the coloured images exchanged by skype, the swipes at pads and clicks on lap tops, while they bring us all closer and facilitate the connections between us all, those connections remain virtual ones. The advantages of this amazing development of virtual connection has unfortunately not been able to help us work towards reconnecting with the language of touch. We can be still missing the comforting energy of each other’s personal presence and the possibility, through the language of touch, to physically express empathy and concern, or joy and affection.
Our sense of touch.
The skin is the largest organ of our body and has a number of important functions such as flexible and shock absorbing protection for the bones and the internal organs, temperature stabilisation both for cooling and warmth, discharge of toxins and natural self repair of damage, to name a few. The sensitivity of the skin varies between the different zones of our bodies depending on their functions, for example, the surface of the heel will have a different sensitivity to the tips of the fingers. It is the surface of the skin that perceives touch and sends corresponding signals and sensations to the brain and there are a wide range of sensations that can be felt. Our sense of touch warns us of impending damage from extremes of heat, cold or pressure. It registers the pain of impacts, cutting, tearing and piercing of the skin but can also identify the contact of a gentle, secure and comforting loving touch as well as the sexually stimulating touches of love making.
Warm contact rich bundles.
Coming back to our example of the foetus, imagine now, the physical trials of either a natural birth with the novel sensations of severe, rhythmic squeezing or a delivery by C section and its implications, both of which are followed by noise, bright light and the sensitive skin being cleaned and rubbed dry by towelling. After this experience, it is understandable that the newborn finds such comfort as they are gently and calmly enfolded in the mother’s arms and feel again the soft warm touch of her skin to skin as the ritual of feeding at the mother’s breast begins. When we observe the way litters of kittens and puppies will naturally wriggle themselves together, tumbled into warm contact rich bundles, we realise that we are not the only living beings on whom touch has such an important and nourishing effect. For the baby, touch sensations will continue to be a major source of information about the items that are present in the baby’s life and, for a while, everything goes into the mouth for analysis and identification.
Recovering lost knowledge.
In spite of this healthy beginning for the child and its strong contact with the benefits of touch, with the passage of the years through puberty into adolescence, the importance of touch for the growing youngster can diminish in favour of assertions of autonomy and independence. Furthermore, in the presence of “role model” parents who are not at ease with open expressions of affection, love and tenderness, the adolescent’s familiarity with touch, as a normal component of daily life, drifts gradually back into the depths of the memory.
But that is not the end of the story because, soon enough, the stirring flood of hormones propel the maturing adolescent into sexual awareness and a new encounter with touch but now in its context as a sexual stimulation. This would all be in its place if it was not for the preceding loss of familiarity with touch in its non sexual capacity to calm, to comfort and to heal. When we become aware of this process that has involved, for most young adults, the loss of the innocence of touch and its beneficial effects, we can understand why it could be of interest to recover our lost knowledge and our natural faculties concerning the language of sensitive touch.
Receiving and giving.
A simple way to explore the domain of this language is to give yourself the gift of receiving a number of professional massages to help you relax and let go of stress and worries. Receiving good massage therapy generates feelings of being loved and valued simply for who you are. It contradicts the common belief that “when I am being touched, it is only because something is expected from me in return.”
The pleasure of caring.
To get more adventurous you could enroll in a school of massage and learn for yourself the power of human touch. You can learn how to soothe away stress and tension with your hands, dissolving headaches and back pains. You can develop your healing powers and encounter the pleasure of caring. This is something you can do as an individual and you can also participate together with your partner as a couple and bring into your relationship a new dimension of mutual loving care.
“The language of touch is sharing the pleasure of caring”
If you have been touched by this article and want to know more about massage sessions or our training program, Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and 0533 867 3685 or Facebook:
You can download a free copy of Viola’s book “Breathing the Rhythm of Success” and find a collection of previous articles in this series from www.violaedward.com
About Viola and Michael
Viola came to Cyprus from Venezuela in 2002 to join Michael who was born on the Island and returned from France in 1999. Viola and Michael are both trained therapists in Breathwork and they founded Kayana Ltd in 2003. Viola specialises in Relationship Coaching, Business Consulting and Colour and Image. Michael has an Engineering background and specialises in Massage and Watsu.