Why Touch Can Heal, and How Love Factors Into It

As my energy healing work has developed, I find that I am less frequently moving energy in a client’s aura. Increasingly, I have shifted into holding deep, safe space for their bodies and spirits. What this allows is the body’s natural healing system (what I often term the “inner healer”) to kick in. I do a fair amount of work inviting the inner healer to get to work. The invitation works because I am holding safe space for the body and spirit.

What I have come to believe from observation is that the body is not particularly interested in healing itself if it does not feel that it will get the love and care it needs to sustain a healing. To get to the root of an issue, then, we must listen to the spirit also and take a look at the energy field to find the underlying blockage that is causing the physical or emotional problem.

At this moment in our culture, most of the work I do is crisis work, trying to get people back to a healthy baseline. Let’s imagine a world in which societal systems support complete health of body, mind, spirit, and psyche—in which our systems could maintain themselves indefinitely just by our built-in healing capacity.

One of the essential tools to maintain health in this ideal society would simply be touch. To explain why, it is necessary to understand our basic needs. Our bodies and spirits are both somewhat like children in their outlook. If they are threatened or neglected, they respond as children would. Our bodies and spirits do not have the “whole picture” of a situation. They need the same kind of care a child needs. They let us know their needs via emotions. Our minds can then choose to heed the emotions and respond, just as we would when a baby cries for out attention.

So, just as touch is essential in comforting a child, so it is essential in comforting adults and teens, because our bodies and spirits don’t exactly “grow up.” I can imagine a civilization in which excellent care is taken of bodies and spirits, and this would result in bodies and spirits functioning far beyond what we now expect of them. But let’s stay in present reality. Many of us have a deep and painful deficit of touch from childhood, when we didn’t get as much comforting, soothing touch as we needed. Those of us in this category need intensive amounts of healing touch (and I mean touch offered in genuine love, which can be different than “professional” touch)—perhaps for several weeks, or even several months. Once we fill up the gaping hole from that deficit, we will then need less for ongoing maintenance.

To understand the significance of touch, we must also understand the relationship between spirit and body in healing. This gets into triage (determining priority of healing). The body’s needs really should be met immediately. If the body is in crisis, everything else should be dropped to take care of the body. When the spirit is in crisis, you’ve got a little more time. You can negotiate with your spirit. For example, if you are in a job that is “killing” your spirit, as long as you HEAR what your spirit is telling you (“Get out of this job!”), you can buy some time. You can take steps toward leaving the job; you can even bargain with your spirit (“Ok, I need to stay in this job for one more year; what can I do to offset its toll on you?”) But then you’ve got to follow through and really make the change your spirit needs.

The spirit feels responsible for the body. It serves to protect the body. If someone is in the midst of chronic medical crisis, their spirit is probably completely exhausted. I’ve had clients with cancer lie on my table, and as soon as I let their spirit know that I will receive responsibility for body-care for the hour, their spirit falls into deep rejuvenating “sleep.” (One contributor to their crisis is the toll exacted on the spirit by the medical system’s lack of love.) So, if the body is in crisis, you can bet the spirit will be as well if the body is not tended.

Inversely, as for the body, it will “bleed out” anywhere the spirit is suffering. You cannot heal the body without healing the spirit. Thus our medical system is not particularly effective in the long-run, to the extent that people often feel worse emotionally and spiritually in leaving the hospital than when they arrived.

Healers have a remarkable opportunity to heal the spirit as well as the body. It is rather stunning that this is so purposely avoided in our medical system. Professional medical “ethics” serve to keep healers removed from their clients: to withhold what their clients’ spirits need as much as medicine or surgery: LOVE. Genuine, unconditional, no-strings-attached love.

What healing touch does for the body is that it makes it feel SAFE. Touch lets the body know that it is receiving care, which helps it relax. When it relaxes, then healing energy at least has the chance to flow. Added to that, what makes the spirit feel safe is freely-offered, unconditional love. So if you put these two together—loving touch—then you’ve got a shot at actual healing. When the body and spirit feel completely safe, the body will begin to heal itself.

Therefore any of us can aid each other’s healing processes tremendously by simply offering touch. Fortunately we don’t have to wait for an ideal society to implement this tool. At any informal social gatherings among friends and family, there can be an exchange of touch happening. Maybe someone needs a back rub. Maybe someone needs to be held or rocked for 10 minutes (yes, including adults). Maybe someone needs to hold hands. Maybe someone needs their hair brushed or stroked. Just sitting with your arm around someone gives significant comfort and a sense of belonging.

What goes around comes around: offering touch can be as wonderful as receiving touch. It really should not be a one-way relationship; attention should be given so that everyone is getting and giving touch over, say, the course of a week or even a long evening. The more we learn to listen to our bodies and spirits, the easier it will get to know what kind of touch we need, and to be able to ask for it specifically. We may also get better at sensing when someone else needs touch even before they ask, and offering.

See related post: Soothing Touch vs. Sexual Touch

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