Touch, a sense we have deeply missed across the pandemic. A sense which we most likely didn’t realise we loved so much. We don’t know about you, but we found ourselves wanting to hug more people than ever. Touch is a sense we take most for granted, but we miss it when it’s gone.
Why do we long for it?
Skin Hunger, a real term used by psychologists and scientists, is a biological need for human touch. Tiffany Field from Touch Research Institute explains that touch “stimulates pressure sensors under the skin that sends messages to the vagus nerve in the brain. As vagal activity increases, the nervous system slows down…and your brain waves show relaxation”.
Alberto Gallace, a neuroscientist at the University of Milano-Biocca explained that our brains and nervous systems are designed for touch to be a pleasurable experience. Without touch humans deteriorate physically and emotionally. He continued to state, “We know from the literature that lack of touch produces very negative consequences for our wellbeing.” 
From the day we are born, we’re attuned to the sense of touch. Skin-to-skin contact has proven to be a vital first step between a new-born and their parents. And, as we grow older, we become used to a more affectionate type of touch, one which we long for. When somebody else touches you, your levels of serotonin increase. This hormone acts as a natural anti-depressant and pain-reliever. In addition to boosting serotonin, touch can also increase oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone. When mothers breastfeed, this is released, it helps to build a bond and sense of securement. Research has also shown that it plays an important role in the early stages of romantic relationships. 
With Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s important to keep a spark in the relationship no matter the date and boosting oxytocin levels always seems appropriate. Physical affection is very important in relationships, study after study have found that couples who tend to be more intimate with each other are happier, both personally and in their relationship.
Although sexual touch is important, Masters and Johnson, pioneers of the modern sex therapy movement, began incorporating non-sexual touching sexual exercises into their couple’s treatment programmes. They found that this level of intimacy built incredibly strong connections and relaxed the couples, in turn solving couple’s sexual problems, just by simply encouraging more touch.
The Benefits of Massage and Being Touched
Boost oxytocin and your connection with your partner with a massage. A form of non-sexual touch which enables your nervous system to slow down, increasing relaxation and romance levels. Massage is the perfect place to start to relieve tension and spend time together. Initially, you may find it to be an awkward situation, getting to know your massage techniques and what your other half enjoys…relax and go with the flow, you’ll find your inner masseuse.
Spice your massage up a bit by setting the perfect ambience. Dim the lights, light a candle or two and use an oil that not only applies nicely but smells beautiful too. There are many herbal blends which are natural aphrodisiacs. Some of Trelonk’s topical blends which are perfect for massage contain aphrodisiac properties. Despite aiding concerns which we have carefully considered, like every day pains, your mental wellbeing and sleep, the ingredients within have their own strengths and qualities, one boosting your mood, if you get what we mean *wink wink*.
So go be affectionate, give someone you love a hug and just remember when you’re massaging to ignite some passion, there are also health benefits behind it.