One of my teachers in naturopathic school always said you must touch your patients because it's a part of the healing process. I believe this is so true. As a doctor we touch our patients a lot whether we're shaking their hand or giving them a supportive hug after they hear good or bad news about their health. We also touch them when we take their blood pressure or check their skin for a rash. Touch is a powerful medium for healing.
There was an article in the New York Times about the power of touch and how it can affect the hormone release and reduce stress. The article also mentioned positive touch is like a high five and encourages people to take on more responsibility at school or work. It is wonderful that supportive non-sexual touch can be used in different settings to create positive outcomes.
Loving, sexual touch also improves health outcomes for both women and men. A study by Daniel, Amen, MD in his book "The Brain in Love 12 Lessons to Enhance Your Love Life" examines health improvement that occurs from regular sexual contact with a partner. Amen acknowledges that the studies do not differentiate between sex in committed or uncommitted relationships but he has a personal bias that committed relationship are his preference for sexual relationships.
Women are 10 times more sensitive to touch than men. Regular sex with a partner has been shown to create healthier periods by creating more regular menstrual cycles, lighter periods and more futile menstrual cycles. More frequent sex can increase hormones like DHEA, estrogen and testosterone in women. Increases in these hormones could be part of the menstrual improvements for women. Regular sex also improves mood, reduces pain, improves memories, improves the immune system and reduces colds and flus. It is considered exercise so it helps women stay in shape and improves weight control. These are all significant markers for improved health outcomes.
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