The healing power of touch

One of the more painful parts of our current situation is the strong suggestion (and in some places mandated order) that we stay away from one another. No hugging or handshaking; no pats on the back or supportive grip on the shoulder.  In an effort to lessen the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we are told to exercise social distance. Isn’t that one of those oxymorons? How can it be social if you are distant from each other?

Touch is the first of our senses that we use to learn about our world.  A mother caresses her baby. A toddler raises his curious hand to the hot stove or flame of fire.  Touch teaches the dangers of this life and the joys. One young child runs to his friend who has fallen, wipes the tears from his friend’s face and gives him a hug.  The power of a loving, friendly, caring human touch can heal. Healing is what we need in this time of out of control disease and violence.

We need human touch. It conveys a positive energy from one person to another.  There is certainly a negative energy (hatred, anger, greed) that can be passed along but, we must not neglect the positive, healing power of the human touch. Have you seen where some nursing facilities have developed a plastic bubble of sorts where a loved one on the outside can reach in and hug the resident on the inside of the facility? It is an effort to resurrect the human touch.

We meet virtually now through on-line meetings. It is good to see the faces and hear the voices but, how often have you said: “I miss hugging you” or “I wish I could shake your hand.”?   You can “go to church” on the internet but, you can’t sit close to a brother or sister of common faith and share that “togetherness” power.  It is a shame that the cautionary social distancing is robbing us of one of the natural healing powers we have had since the creation of man.

During Red Boiling Springs “hey-days” there were four bathhouses that provided the power of human touch alongside their offerings of hydrotherapy. The Palace Hotel and Dr. Leslie’s bathhouses operated under the Dr. Kellogg/Battle Creek system.  An advertisement from the Palace Mineral Bath House offered:

MASSAGES: Complete Body (Swedish) Magnetic Tone Up, Relaxation Nerve and Muscle, Circulation Tone, Joint Manipulation, Scientific Reducing, Normalizing Build Up, Oil and Alcohol Rubs

Until recently, the power of the human touch through massage therapy was still being offered at the Armour’s Red Boiling Springs Hotel mineral bathhouse.  The human touch is just as important today as it was a hundred years ago.

Many of Vision 2020’s events have had to be cancelled this year: the community Easter Egg Hunt, the Folk Medicine Festival, the Red Pump Café songwriter nights, and the annual Ice Cream Social and Auction. We have chosen to do the auction that benefits the restoration efforts on the old RBS bank building on Facebook Live for the next few months. The next auction is Thursday, August 27 beginning at 7:00pm.  Ten items will be up for auction. Check them out –

The Step Back in Time shop is open and observing the safety precautions of wearing a mask, etc. The shop is open Friday Noon until 5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Classes are scheduled for September with a class size limited to 8 participants. Check them out on the Step Back in Time Facebook page –

We look forward to the time when we can be back together as a community. Until then, here’s a virtual hug! Pass it on!

Pooh Gang Hug copy

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