The power of kind touch
There was a cover story on 'The Power of Touch' in a recent National Geographic issue. There have been studies in the medical field that are finding healthful benefits for patients in the form of nonverbal communication such as a pat on the hand or a gentle form of skin-to-skin contact.
The healing power of physical touch can be measured. Doctors have found, through laboratory tests, such as MRIs, that there are evident changes in the patterns of brain activity during touch. Certain types of endorphins are released. These endorphins combat stress hormones, resulting in a sense of relaxation and peace. Researchers have been working on physical touch and found a role of healing in the life of sick persons including of a cancer patient. However, it can be easy to forget that our human-to-human connections make a difference for our patients.
It is true that our life is much easier today with a lot of gadgets, yet each and every day a lot of unexplainable sicknesses are also approaching slowly behind our familiarity. But, we cannot sidestep the concern of objects like 'Respect, Affection and Care (RAC)'.
Yes, there is a great way of offering hope and reassurance through different types of communication skills including a sincere smile or kind facial expression. It is a way of connecting without saying a word. These can simply express, "I feel your pain. I see you. I realise what you're going through."
Although physical touch shows a genuine form of care and concern, it is not always welcomed due to some misconduct. Nevertheless, we need to explore more how doctors can consciously use their interest in humanity and the power of caring in their clinical work.
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