New research focuses on the power of physical contact

Touch

In recent years some researchers have begun to focus on a different, often more subtle kind of wordless communication: physical contact. Momentary touches, they say — whether an exuberant high five, a warm hand on the shoulder, or a creepy touch to the arm — can communicate an even wider range of emotion than gestures or expressions, and sometimes do so more quickly and accurately than words. […]

The evidence that such messages can lead to clear, almost immediate changes in how people think and behave is accumulating fast. Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not, studies have found. A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched. Research by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute in Miami has found that a massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship.

Read More – New York Times: Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much

(via Mind Hacks)

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lintmachine/2489090110/ / CC 2.0)

1 Comment

  1. as a family doc, i make it a point to touch every patient before they leave. maybe only a simple handshake or pat on the bck, but some contact.

    i beleive ti makes a big difference in patient satisfaction and compliance.

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