The power of the humanÂ touch is a remarkable thing. It’s been studied many times. You are free to look it up. But speaking from my own experiences, I see it every day as a physician, a husband, a father, and hopefully as a friend.
In medical school we were encouraged not to touch our patients. This advice usually came from a prickly-pair type of person, of course.Â They feared a lawsuit for inappropriate touchingÂ instead of seeing the power of the human touch as it is released to provide true healing and comfort for those that need it most.
I once took a medical-mission trip to the jungles of Guatemala (See It’s a Small World After All! Â in my book). What I didn’t say in that story is that I became very sick shortly after arriving in the jungle. I lostÂ nearly 9 pounds in one evening through intractable diarrhea and vomiting. I was so ill that I knew my survival depended upon rehydration and rehydration alone.
So for 24 hours, I did only that. I slept, then awoke to sip as much water as I could tolerate and then slept again. I expended only the energy it took to do that. Although it took a few days to recover my strength, I started turning for the better within a day or so.
What really amazed me was the healing power that came through the touch of one of my coworkers. After hearing that I was sick, Sarah came and checked in on me at about the 18 hour mark. She came up behind me, placed herÂ loving arms around me and gave me a true, caring hug of comfort and concern. I was emotionally overwhelmed and I am not a very emotional person.
So in my practice, hugs are common place. Â I let the patient make that decision of course, but it is always available, readily encouraged,Â andÂ never shunned. I encourage you to do the same in your circle of influence. And I mean hugging like you mean it and not like you’re a Hollywood star who gives meaningless, pathetic hugs and fake, cheek-blowing Â kisses. Â You’ll be helping someone more than you can ever imagine.