Touch on the Outside, ‘Heel’ on the Inside

Touch is a vital part of relationships, especially the one we have with our other half. Studies show that it can elevate mood, maintain health and build intimacy. Surprisingly, many of us don’t utilise this form of contact in our daily lives. With the clock ticking over until Valentine’s Day, let’s make sure we incorporate this health-booster into our relationships. Grab your lover — let’s go!

Touching releases a small amount of oxytocin, the neurotransmitter that helps us bond and feel connected. Cuddling and holding eye contact are other ways of increasing the flow of this neurotransmitter, increasing the bond between two people. Sometimes failing to realise it, humans thrive on touch. The benefits include feeling connected to others and less anxious, lowered blood pressure and having a positive outlook on life. Research shows that a lack of physical contact can lead to emotional disturbance, reduced sexual interest and even a weakened immune system. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? We may not even realise the extent to which a lack of touch is affecting our health. Do not despair! There are ways you can easily incorporate touch (or more touch) into your relationship:

  • Moisturise from head to toe. Not only will this leave you beautifully soft and smelling delicious, but will have you feeling ready to touch and be touched. A medical pedicure is an experience you can share with your other half; something you can do together to prepare for months of beautiful touch. Soft feet are glorious to move around with, and who can resist playing footsies with their partner? You’ll feel connected, playful and perhaps a little naughty!

  • Hug your partner! It’s one of the most enjoyable forms of touch. Go on, do it! Hug them when you see them, hug them when you leave them and hug them all those moments in between. It’s a special feeling. You’ll feel safe, loved and truly connected.

  • Initiate a massage. Massages are (unofficially) one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I personally couldn’t do without them from my partner, and I know he couldn’t either! Massage relaxes the muscles, feels amazing and builds intimacy. I love a good foot massage in the evening! It’s not something you automatically think of when giving a massage, but I can assure you, it’s worth it. Research suggests that pressure points on the feet can alleviate pain and stress in other parts of the body. A foot massage is a very indulgent experience, and one to be shared.

  • Hold hands. It’s a public show of affection when out, and a private show of affection when alone. Holding hands is a gesture of love and trust, and is said to reduce stress. Let’s not forget that it warms us up in winter, and is more personal than a cup of coffee! Did I mention that it’s free?

Touching, and being touched, is important not only to our relationships but to our overall health and wellbeing. It can lift mood instantly, create connections, build intimacy and trust and reduce the daily stressors we all face. After your medical pedicure experience, you won’t be able to keep your hands (and feet) off each other! When you think about it, touch is one of the most natural and enjoyable things you can do for your health. ‘Your toes, touching mine. This is how galaxies collide.