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The Healing Power of Touch

by Marianne Navada

Sometimes, boosting our mental and physical well-being requires a simple touch.

“Holding hands lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol…Interlocking hands make us feel brave.”

The Rabbit Effect | Kelli Harding MD, MPH

The healing power of touch is nothing new. The ancient practice of Reiki is grounded on the idea that energy transfers from the palm of a Reiki practitioner to a person’s body. Although there is much skepticism currently on this alternative medicine, some hospitals do offer it.

In yoga, touch is an important part of connecting with yourself. Whether your hands are in prayer, grabbing your feet, or simply resting your hand on your chest, these gestures contribute to that blissful feeling after practice.

The fathers of modern yoga, Iyengar and Jois, introduced a style of yoga to the west that relied heavily on touch and physical adjustments. But the massification of yoga comes with the fears of lawsuits and injuries. As a consequence, hands-on adjustments are less prevalent. With the concept of respecting personal space, issues of sexual harassment, and the popularization of online yoga, there are more reasons hands-on adjustments might fall out of favor.

Do You Hold Your Phone More than the Hand of a Loved One?

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Studies show that when a person holds the hand of a loved one in distress, the breath and heartbeat of the pair sync up. Their bodies harmonize. Most amazing is that their brainwaves harmonize as well, which is known as entrainment.

The Rabbit Effect | Kelli Harding MD, MPH

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