With the current practice of social distancing, which really should be called physical distancing, those of us in the healthcare and healing professions have already noticed the recent trend of our patients losing the human touch.
Some of you may remember the stories from the 1980s and 1990s about Russian orphanages where babies were left alone in a crib, no holding, no touching, no human interaction, not even whilst feeding. When these babies were adopted out to other countries, particularly the United States, there was overwhelming evidence that these touch deprived babies turned in to school aged children suffering behavioral problems, ADHD, learning disabled and yes, sometimes even violent children. These behaviors were related back to the lack of human touch during infancy.
Human beings need to be touched, be held, be hugged and be snuggled. Without that connection, we feel isolated, alone, angry and sometimes even violent. Even those people who don’t like to be touched, still need that connection with another person. Why? Being touched releases all kinds of hormones that are necessary to survive.
Deep pressure, such as a hug or a deep tissue massage, releases oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, the reward hormones. An elbow bump just isn’t going to have the same effect. Hugs should last a minimum of 20 seconds. Receiving a massage or even snuggling with someone can take up to 20 minutes to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System. That’s the “rest and digest” calming part of our nervous system. The Sympathetic is the “fight, flight or freeze” stressful part of our nervous system. There needs to be a balance between the two or else we tend to live in “sympathetic dominance” or overload.
Do you know what also can help you balance between Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous Systems? Chiropractic adjustments. Getting adjusted is an almost instantaneous shift between the two. Chiropractors have been officially acknowledged by the US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security as Essential Healthcare Personnel. That means we are still open to care for our patients. Chiropractors are helping people with musculo-skeletal pain problems stay out of the Urgent Care and Emergency Departments of hospitals during this pandemic. We’ve actually been doing this all along. So while you can’t schedule a massage at this time in certain areas (Georgia is now allowing therapeutic massage!), or hug anyone you want to, you CAN visit your Chiropractor to get an adjustment, balance your nervous system (which in turn, improves immune function) and get that human touch that is needed to survive. At Fusion Chiropractic, we are actively following all CDC guidelines for disinfecting between patients and keeping the office a SAFE PLACE for you to visit. In the meantime, don’t forget to hug or snuggle someone already in your household.