In a world that is dominated by technology, it can get easy to lose touch with our inner selves. We lose our intuitive abilities and get desensitized to the beautiful everyday sensations of nature, our surroundings, and various visual and auditory elements. Therapeutic touch is an ancient Ayurvedic self-massaging technique that connects your body to your spirit.
You become mindful of yourself and eventually, this deep connection evolves into something similar to being one with your soul/body. Your body and mind can do powerful things when tapped into and Snehana essentially dives deep into that.
What is Therapeutic Touch?
Fast forward to the 21st century and we have millions of people being treated with the ancient art of touch therapy. In a nutshell, therapeutic touch involves the art of gently massaging and feeling your skin from top to bottom. You use circular motions and feel your skin, bones, and press gently, with the intention to be healthy and live a mindful life.
During this massaging phase, you could slowly ask your mind questions about any aches or pains or even tune in and listen to your body. If pain makes itself felt, you soothe it by massaging yourself in that area until you get relief. The key takeaway here is you don’t just stop after the relief. You harmonize your energy fields by working your whole body with your hands, irrespective of whether the pain goes away or not.
How Does Touch Therapy Work?
Touch therapy works on the belief that humans are energy beings. Essentially, we have energy fields that surround our bodies and are connected with the universe. When there are any imbalances in this field, we end up getting disorders or health illnesses. Some examples of physical pain manifesting from energetic imbalances include back pain, a sprained nerve, hypertensive disorders, poor blood circulation, and fractures. Also, when restoring energetic imbalances, we tend to view the body bilaterally or asymmetrically. If one side of your shoulder has an energetic imbalance while the rest of your body seems fine, you’re going to eventually feel it and that’s just the way it works.
Benefits and Uses of Touch Therapy
Some of the benefits and uses of touch therapy are-
1. Helps Eliminate Cravings
Do you struggle with overeating, food addictions or have a lack of appetite? Touch therapy will help you deal with these and work towards a healthier you. Many people around the world are using touch therapy for weight loss transformations.
2. Beats Depression
One of the biggest benefits of touch therapy is mental and physical relaxation. Simply setting aside the time to connect with yourself can do wonders for your physical and emotional self.
3. Helps Dementia
A 2009 study published involved 65 test subjects who were home residents diagnosed with dementia. Touch therapy was given to them for 3 weeks after the test subjects were split into three groups. One was given with contact, the second group with sham treatment and the third group was provided with routine healthcare. The group with touch therapy treatment had reduced impulsiveness and forgetfulness compared to the other two.
4. Activates Your Deep Relaxation Response
Just like how your body has a fight-or-flight response when driven by anxiety and panic, it also has a deep relaxation response. Touch therapy triggers this and lets your nerves and tendons relax. Relaxing your muscles and organs also means you’ll release stress and any negative blockages which may eventually develop into health problems later in life.
5. Balances Your Energy Fields
Humans are said to be magnetic beings. Have you ever wanted to open your third eye or increase your intuition? This is possible when you feel a sense of connectedness with the universe. And that starts with balancing your energy fields which touch therapy does.
6. Provides Pain Relief
If you’re suffering from chronic illnesses or any incurable diseases, then touch therapy helps alleviate some of that pain. It helps patients relax, and let go.
7. Promotes Deep Healing
Sometimes you have energy blockages which manifest into physical health issues when left unchecked. Touch therapy tackles these areas in a way that they’re fixed even before they manifest. This means any possible health complications which have gone undetected by medical diagnosis in the early stages can be addressed.
8. Balances Your Emotions
Have you ever wanted to feel emotionally healthy? Ever wondered why you’re gloomy or constantly negative? Touch therapy will help you unlock your subconscious mind and clear it from negativity and self-doubt. This translates to you being a healthier and happier version of yourself down the line. And who wouldn’t want that?
9. Gives You Restful Sleep
A session of touch therapy before going to bed is exactly what you need to beat insomnia and get restful sleep. You will find yourself waking up feeling refreshed, energized, and vitalized to face the day.
10. Works on Animals Too
The benefits of touch therapy are applicable to more than just humans. If you have any pets in the house who are facing discomfort, be it physical or mental – try touch therapy.
Does Touch Therapy Help You Connect with Yourself?
Yes. Touch therapy helps you connect with yourself. When you first start practising touch therapy techniques, you will inculcate the habit of connecting mindfully to your surroundings. What this means is that you’ll become more aware and your consciousness will expand. You will notice the vibrant colours in your surroundings, hear noises you couldn’t hear before in the background, and really know what it feels to touch things with your skin and feel the textures. It’s a relaxing sensory experience that offers you a host of health benefits. The Snehana technique follows this self-realization of touch to become aware of your body and connect with yourself.
Steps to Do Snehana at Home
Here are the steps on how to do Snehana at home:
- To do Snehana, you need a quiet spot in your home. A nature backdrop works and if you have a lawn to relax and let loose, that’s great too. Pick a spot where nobody will disturb you and you get an uninterrupted block of time.
- Start by getting some sesame or plant-based oil (like olive oil) and gently apply it to your hands and skin. Begin by massaging from the top of your head to the arms, shoulders, and down your body. Use gentle circular motions and don’t go fast when stimulating these touch therapy points.
- When covering the chest, be gentle and never work from bottom to top since it places a strain on your heart and taxes your organs.
- The order in which you do touch therapy massage does not matter as long as you massage in the same rhythm and motions.
- Just make sure you cover your whole body
- Take your time and enjoy the relaxing sensation.
- Breathe mindfully throughout the process and when you’re done, get up and go for a bath to end your relaxing moment on a good note.
- You can even practice touch therapy for couples to rekindle your physical intimacy and foster a deeper bond of love.
Here are a few common frequently asked questions by our readers. We answer how touch therapy makes a difference, how it compares to Reiki and much more below.
1. When Can Touch Therapy be Helpful?
You can incorporate touch therapy time as a daily healthy routine or for treating a disease or for pain relief from chronic conditions.
2. Is Therapeutic Touch Different From Healing Touch?
The two have a slight distinction. Although both work with the energy field, therapeutic touch stimulates the natural healing ability in the body, while the healing touch alters and enhances the energy field of the individual to speed up the healing process.
3. Does Connecting with ‘Self’ Require Special Skills?
No, it doesn’t. The only special skill you need is blocking out some time for the practice. Really, that’s it. Everybody has the ability to connect to themselves and feel their spiritual side. And touch therapy helps you make that connection and foster it. It’s an absolutely natural process and doesn’t require special training, diet, or remedies – it’s as natural as breathing.
4. Is Therapeutic Touch the Same as Reiki?
No, it isn’t. There are some distinct differences between the two. No attunement is needed for applying healing touch practices on the body. The concept behind healing touch is to transfer life energy and kickstart the healing mechanism. In the case of Reiki, we deal with building up, storing, and using chi (life force energy) to remove blockages. You could think of healing touch as energy medicine that works from outside to the inside, with the inside fostering deep healing capabilities over time. Whereas, in the case of Reiki, it’s more about building up your healing mechanism from the inside by gathering and circulating chi. If you combine Reiki and Healing Touch together in your energy medicine therapies, you’re bound to experience fantastic results which many people across the globe swear by, despite insufficient medical investigations and data-backed evidence.
Although therapeutic touch works for many, sometimes the results won’t be immediate. You will feel a relaxation response though and just have to give it enough time to work. With enough time and a consistent ritual, you’ll notice your emotions becoming healthier, feel lighter, and slowly notice any physical illnesses which aren’t life-threatening repair or melt away. Another way to fast track results is to watch what you eat as diet also plays a part in energy medicine and various physical therapies.