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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?


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    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.

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