Numerous studies demonstrate in a factual way all the benefits of touch, which is healthy, nourishing and caring.
From birth, non-verbal communication fosters the parent/child bond.
In her book "Skin and Touch", Ashley MONTAGU demonstrates that touch begins in the womb, and that contractions stimulate the skin to prepare the vital systems for their post-natal functioning. At the time of the baby's birth, skin stimulation activates the neuro-vegetative system, which itself acts on the respiratory centre and viscera.
The skin is a fundamental element, with an enormous quantity of receptors (about 50/100mm2 of skin).
It is also the most extensive organ, which ensures 4 major physiological functions:
The skin protects against mechanical aggression, radiation and intrusion of foreign bodies or substances.
The skin is a sensory organ
The skin is a thermal regulator.
Finally, the skin is a metabolic organ (reserve of fat, water and salt).
Tiffany Field, from the Touch Research Institute (Miami), showed the anxiolytic and relaxing effect on children. In fact, she has shown that premature babies thrive best when they are in prolonged skin contact with the mother . In short, premature babies who are massaged gain more weight and develop faster (which also reduces hospitalization time)...
As such, healthy touch promotes the increase of growth hormone.
Practiced at the right temperature, it activates calmness and contact, and provokes a feeling of well-being . Thus the blood pressure of the heartbeat and the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, decrease.
The benefits of touch are numerous
They promote the parent/child attachment bond according to John Bowlby, which gives children confidence in their exploration of the world.
Massages help develop and strengthen the attachment bond between you and your baby. During this appointment, baby secretes the hormone Oxytocin: the hormone of well-being, love and social bonding.
Touch also has virtues on :
the parents: by helping them to be caring, it helps the mother in the stimulation of lactation, and above all reduces post-partum depression (after birth).
Finally, it values the parent in his or her role, and makes the parent prouder of the positive impact that he or she has on the child.
The family: the siblings often participate, they feel concerned, which generally has the effect of diminishing rivalries... The family environment becomes even better, with a decrease in conflicts, and an enhancement of respect between all family members. And a calm family environment means better sleep for everyone!
Society: with an extremely positive balance sheet of greater respect and empathy for others. It is a virtuous circle that will only result in a reduction of abuse, violence, and therefore a reduction in the cost of medical care.