The Power of Healing Touch Six Easy Exercises for Calm and Well Being
The greatest healer is with you all the time; your sense of touch. Our skin is an incredibly sensitive organ. Research indicates that physical touch releases oxytocin, a natural hormone produced in the hypothalamus. As it is released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland, it has the power to reduce pain, and anger, improve immune function and decrease stress. The fastest way to come into a state of calm is through warm, safe touch. Even the simplest touch, such as loving touch-hugs, holding hands, and cuddling with a pet can naturally release oxytocin and bring the body into a state of calm and well-being.
An easy way to care for and comfort yourself is with your own self-touch. Touch activates the care system that is conducive to calming results. By getting connected to our bodies we can have a more skillful connection with all other levels of our being. Discover for yourself, the healing power of touch. Why not try incorporating one of these health improvement exercises into your day? These simple, effective techniques can be done anywhere and are around 5-10 minutes long. These are suggestions, but don’t be rigid. Feel free to choose what you need to reconnect, refocus and rejuvenate.
Exercise One: Scalp Massage For Calming the Mind
Surprisingly the scalp can get tense and contribute to tension headaches. Using your fingertips gently trace circles massaging the scalp, moving down your face, forehead, nose, and jaw. Massaging the ears can feel particularly nice. The touch and movement of the fingertips release the oxytocin in your brain, lowering your blood pressure and calming the mind. Self-massage improves circulation and
the flow of blood. Replenishing and nourishing our skin. Communicating to the body that you care for it. Relax the busyness of the mind, and undo rather than do.
Exercise Two: Neck Massage For Spacious Calm
The neck and head are particularly sensitive areas of the body. The vagus nerve is loaded with receptors that reside in the brain stem. You can find that region by placing your fingers at the back
of your skull where the top of your neck nestles into the skull. When working with the neck it is important that your hands are warm. Begin by Palming the hands and warming the fingertips, now circle slowly at the back of your skull several times in both directions. A gentle massage to that area of your neck can increase the release of oxytocin. This point also stimulates the midbrain. Is there somewhere in this region you can let go in your body or in your mind?
Continue to relax and breathe
Exercise Three: Hugs
Don’t forget to hug!
A 20-second hug with people and pets is enough to release a flood of oxytocin. A hug cultivates generosity and joy. With genuine warmth and tenderness, a hug can mellow out irritability. In the spirit of kindness, enjoy giving and receiving a hug today, and watch how your anxiety melts
Exercise Four: Open Heartedness Hands on Heart
Palming the hands Holding your own heart with both hands, feeling the warmth of your hands.
Breathe softly and gently into your own heart center. Take 2-3 deep breaths. Settle attention in your heart area. Notice does your heart feel clenched, neglected, or open, soft? Receive what you are feeling without trying to make it something different. After spending a few moments connecting with your heart, Remember a moment you felt safe, loved, and cherished by another human being.
Feel the feeling of that moment. Rest with it as an anchor. Invite the feeling to fill your attention.
As you feel your way back into the present moment, Sense a feeling of warmth around your heart center. Feeling this love can be a source of immediate nourishment for your mind and body, no matter how stressed or irritated you are.
Exercise Five: Hand Exercises Calm and Grounded
Gently Hold your thumb with the fingers of your opposite hand and take six complete breaths
Stay connected to the emotion you want to calm, worry depression, or anxiety. Give yourself a moment of respite from your plans, your worries, and anxiousness. Is there anywhere you are holding the body tight against the natural flow of your breath? Breathe a few breaths and let your worries dissolve. Calm and Centered. When we center ourselves we can enhance our vitality
and resources. Press Palms together in Prayer Position: Fingers spread out, keep your fingers pointing upward and create slow circles with arms and hands. The base of the palms stays together. The rest of your body stays grounded and still. Slow down, seamlessly deepen into the circular motions. If your mind is scattered, Unify your breath and movement together to infuse qualities of being grounded, and centered. Take your time and let yourself enjoy it for 5 Breaths in each direction
Exercise Six: Refocus
Cradle your face in your hands Palm your hands to create heat. Now cradle your face in your palms.
Close your eyes. Receive the warmth of your palms. Release any gripping in the jaw and lips. Soften the sense organs. Soften the eyes, right eye, and left eye, and relax both eyes. Relax the backs of your eyes. Soften ears and the inner ears. Nostrils are soft. Become aware of your breath, gently moving in and out. Relax your mouth and tongue. Awareness of your skin. Linger in each area. Let the relaxation flow like honey down the rest of your body. What difference do you
notice? Can you feel your whole self becoming brighter, and refocused? When you have completed each exercise, take a few long, full breaths. Take a moment to discern any changes. Observe and reflect on the experience of healing touch, and how it affects your body, nervous system, heart, and mind. Remember, a few moments of healing touch has the power to loosen the grip, create healing and well-being for yourself and others