TED Conversations

bristol ozturgut

Me,

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Touching practices should be implemented into schools' daily regimen.

Touch is turning out to be a vital role in stimulating hormone secretion, that of which can be extremely beneficial to the brain.

One crucial hormone is oxytocin; it is directly linked to feelings of contentment and connection (Zak P, 2011), cardiovascular health (Gimpl G & Fahrenholz F, 2001; Gutkowska J, Jankowski M, Mukaddam-Daher S, and McCann SM, 2000; Lisete C. Michelini, Marialuisa C. Marcelo, Janet Amico and Mariana Morris, 2003), and even increases vasopressin - a hormone recognized in the success of long-term, monogamous couples (Kadekaro M, Summy-Long JY, Freeman S, Harris JS, Terrell ML, and Eisenberg HM, 1992; . Ludwig M, Callahan MF, Neumann I, Landgraf R, and
Morris M, 1994; M.M. Limm, 2004). In response to an unending supply of research, many people are beginning to suspect low oxytocin levels as culprit for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (although with a particular weight upon the oxytocin via touching during sleep) (James J. McKenna1,*, Helen L. Ball2, Lee T. Gettler, 2007). With all these things stacking upon each other, I am definitely in the mind that our formality in schools be revised to allow touch. Healthy touch is important for kids and adults alike, forging trust and compassion - two things we need far more of in our ever-expanding political responsibilities. I think we should develop ways for school-goers - from students to alumni - to safely touch each other on a regular basis.

You know, as I think on it, the more I'm convinced touch needs to infiltrate every aspect of our formal lives.

Related questions: What constitutes safe formal touch? How can we establish boundaries? How can we promote touch as a way to increase accountability?

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2013: There is some research I believe that low birthweight babies and 'premature' babies do benefit from skin to skin, 'kangaroo pouch' style touch with their mothers, you would possibly need to look in Midwifery and Nursing Journals about that . The amount of touching and who is 'allowed' to touch who and in what context is a social and cultural minefield. There are cultural rules about how close to someone you can get. There are other rules about what body parts are regarded as 'clean and dirty'. A smile and a warm greeting are as good as a touch. For someone in distress a warm, soft blanket enveloping them can give them the ability to 'self-hug'. Safe formal touch, a handshake possibly. Safe formal touch with appropriate boundaries - dances like 'square dancing', 'country dancing', 'ballroom dancing'. Teaching small children to safely interact with animals like rabbits, cats and dogs can help them develop awareness of personal safety possibly. One of the biggest delights for a grandparent is to have their grandchild want a cuddle, one of the biggest disasters is for a child to be abused. Touch as a way of increasing accountabilty feels like the wrong end of the telescope, touch as a way of decreasing accountability possibly more therapeutic motive.
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2013: There needs to be an inherent level of trust in others to have a program like this implemented. We don't have that kind of trust and faith in others anymore. Too many people know that the boogie man could be anyone, anywhere. Yes it is sad, but it's also realistic.

    We actually did an adult training in Scouts, as an adult leader, that cautions against placing your hand on a child's shoulder who isn't your own, because you could be conditioning them to trust you and then leading to something perverse. I found it disturbing that the discussion was required and part of their formal training.

    I know it may help with positive hormone levels, but I know that I wouldn't be comfortable with it.
    • thumb
      Feb 12 2013: This is precisely the reason we need good touch. Our society is so often physically hurt. We should learn how to physically uplift!
  • thumb
    Feb 13 2013: You say "school" be the evidence show that the brain is affected at an early stages in development. It's not as simple as causing the release oxytocin.

    "Neurons in the hippocampus regulate the response to stress hormones by making special receptors. When the receptors grab a hormone, the neurons respond by pumping out proteins that trigger a cascade of reactions. These reactions ripple through the brain and reach the adrenal glands, putting a brake on the production of stress hormones.
    In order to make the hormone receptors, though, the hippocampus must first receive signals. Those signals switch on a series of genes, which finally cause neurons in the hippocampus to build the receptors."


    http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jun/15-brain-switches-that-can-turn-mental-illness-on-off#.URJ3DBz43Pw

    Hidden Switches in the Brain, Eric Nestler.

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/benharm/Articles/epigenitics%20-%20hidden%20switches%20in%20the%20mind%20-%20nestler.pdf
  • thumb
    Feb 12 2013: I am sure you know that the reason schools have enforced strict rules in this area is to protect students against unwanted touch. It is not only a matter of safe.

    Teachers still use their judgment, often, with touch being particularly common in relation to grade school kids.
  • Feb 12 2013: It depends on who does it.