Hugs and Shrieks of Delight

A young mother came in to the office during this lockdown, (I am considered essential), she told me of taking her 3 year old son out to the lawn on a hot day and squirting him with the hose…..”shrieks of delight” is how he responded she said.

I cannot remember the last time I “shrieked with delight” about anything? Can you?

Standing here in my office where I get to help people to feel good. I can smile occasionally and laugh once in awhile. I have pictures of family, beautiful scenery and hanging plants from the ceiling. I have some toys, plastic dinosaurs, blocks and rocks for the kids to play with. My desk has my computer a lot of paper that needs filing or some action and a sound system. Gentle new age music is flowing through the air. The sun is leaking in through the blinds on the east facing windows. My Bodywork table is sparkling clean and comfortable in the middle of the room. . On my wall are seven diplomas, certificates and licenses that remind me I have studied a lot. Nowhere is a certificate for the last time I “shrieked with delight”. I have trained myself to thoroughly enjoy hugging appropriately in my old age. Shrieking with delight though, not so much.

I wonder what happened?

My daughter was born with a breathing difficulty and spent her first 10 days in a NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital. I spent most of every day with her. In every Infant Intensive Care unit there are volunteers that hold and caress the little babies regularly before they must go back to the enclosed incubators. When babies are not touched regularly they “fail to thrive”. “Fail to thrive” is doctor talk for die. Human babies and probably all mammal animal babies must have touch to survive. It begins as “skin hunger” and for brand new babies it leads to death.

In Neo-Natal Hospital Units gentle caring touch is “essential” for life.

Our massage therapists, Structural Integration and Hellerwork Practitioners are not yet considered legally essential therapists for adults.

Too bad. I think they should be.

My daughter is now the Happy Mother of 6-year old young one. GrandPa time is now relegated to Zoom and Facetime, which we thoroughly enjoy. But it does not include Grand Pa hugging and swinging her up in the air and round and round and awakening the shrieks of delight.

We still laugh and smile though.

Chiropractic is a health promoting, knowledgeably therapeutic and sometimes joyous touch. We all thrive when we touch and are touched. I was 11 years old when I last remember being hugged by my family. That was also the year that I started smoking cigarettes to be one of the boys and began doing all kinds of behaviors just so I could feel like I belonged. Cheating in school, adolescent sex, smoking and drinking, lying, all to feel like I might belong. Social distancing may have some not so pleasant consequences.

So in your lockdown find someone to hug, offer a shoulder or back massage and gently remind that person close to you that they are important and loved. Especially your children.

It’s even okay to give yourself a 30-minute massage. Start with your feet and work up. It’s okay. Doctor’s orders.

Touch is so important.

Special Announcement! My new book, Structural Integration is Not Massage, is now available!Find out more
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