Temple Tips

Saving our senses: Touch

"Then the woman, seeing that she cold not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed."   Luke 8:47     


The sense of touch is the way our skin perceives things in contact with the body, especially the hands! It includes the ability to detect pressure, tickle, pain, heat or cold. These abilities can make us feel good and help keep us safe from harm. Sensors in the skin, joints, muscles and tendons give your brain feedback as to where you are in the space you are in, your awareness of limb position. As these abilities decline (nerve damage from trauma, disease or stroke, skin disease, scarring or aging) it can lead to injury or you may start to feel clumsy or unsteady.  Studies (and common sense) tell us the sense of being lovingly touched is vital to emotional, psychological and physical growth in babies. This also applies to children and adults as touch deprivation can lead to depression, aggression and eating disorders. The effect of touch boosts our sense of well being and helps us feel in tune with others.  The effect depends, of course, upon the situation. A touch from someone can be relaxing, reassuring, gentle, soothing or stimulating. Or it can be off-putting and alarming. Touch can bond us together in ways that transcend words or in situations in which words may not help. It can help ease feelings of pain and stress. So be generous with physical affection-hug your spouse, kiss your children and grandchildren, pet the dog, schedule a massage.

Healthy Touch Tips: In general, hugs, handshakes, a hand on the shoulder or a comforting rub on the back are examples of appropriate touch.

Make sure the person you desire to touch consents before you proceed.    You may verbally ask to touch and receive a verbal consent.   You may extend your arms to hug a loved one and they may extend their arms to receive.    You may extend a hand to offer a hand shake and the person reciprocates.    •You may move toward a person who appears in need of a comforting hand on the shoulder.  Look in their eyes and watch their body language for consent.   

Imagine what the woman must have felt when she touched the robe of Jesus.   

Amy Gray, RN, Parish Nurse