From massage therapy to cuddles with your pet, here are 4 affordable ways to bring healing into your life through touch.
Posted in , Jun 22, 2017
Sometimes stress can feel almost impossible to avoid. Whether it's work, family, or financial concerns, everyone has worries and challenges to face. While there's no instant cure to take away stress, there is one surprisingly simple way to feel calmer. It's the power of human touch.
I realized this recently when I had the pleasure of a massage. I felt renewed not only in the parts of my body that ached from my shoulders hunching with worry, but also spiritually. Even though the circumstances prompting my stress hadn’t changed, my outlook on life had improved. I had to know how I could keep this feeling going, even without a vacation or a fancy spa.
I did some research and discovered that this “relaxation response” was the result of a decrease in blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, and the production of stress hormones. Also, serotonin levels increase in this state—the hormones that produce feelings of happiness and positivity—making touch both a physically and spiritually beneficial experience.
The best news is that that you don't have to travel or spend a lot of money to experience this relaxation response.
Here are 4 ways to experience the healing power of touch right where you are:
1) Ask for hugs
‘Skin hunger’ occurs when a person has been deprived of physical touch for too long. It can add to depression and anxiety, as well. Don’t be afraid to ask the people in your life for what you need: a nice, long hug. Your loved ones want to help you, and if they’re huggers, they’ll be happy to cheer you up with a hug. If you see someone who looks like they need a hug, ask them if it’s all right to hug them too. Both of you might feel better afterwards.
2) Cuddle with a pet
First thing in the morning or after a long day at work, scoop up your favorite furry pet for some cuddle time. Your pet’s sweet kisses will calm you quickly, and their excited demeanor will keep you happy and hopeful.
3) Embrace yourself
Sometimes when you really need a hug, nobody is around. Don’t discount the power of your own embrace. If you’re physically able, wrap your arms around yourself, rest your head on your shoulder and take deep breaths. Visualize yourself in a safe space and feel some stress melting away.
4) Find affordable massage therapists
Even if a spa is out of your budget for the month, you can still experience a great massage at a great price. Massage therapy schools in your area offer cheap prices for students preparing to pass their licensing exams. For less than $30 in many places you can pay a skilled student for a fantastic service. You can also find a good deal on a massage on online coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Enjoy saving money and treating yourself to the healing power of positive touch.