Touching love

By Laurel Robinson, NLP Master Practitioner, The Daily Planet, Feb 14, 2008

Thought for the Day: “You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.” - Anon

Telluride, Colo.(USA) -- If our emotion of love can turn an otherwise plain friend into a beautiful person, what else can it do?  Psychologists and neurologists now agree that the brain is just another organ, albeit more intricate than the rest.

The thoughts and emotions that seem to color our reality are the result of complex electrochemical interactions within and between nerve cells. The disembodied voices of schizophrenia and the feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred that accompany depression, although they seem to be based on reality, are no more than distortions in brain electrochemistry that the mind codes as a “bad” feeling.

Scientists are also learning something else. Not only is the mind like the rest of the body, but the well-being of the one is intimately intertwined with that of the other. This makes sense because they share the same systems - nervous, circulatory, endocrine and immune. What happens in the pancreas or liver can directly affect brain function. Disorders of the brain, conversely, can send out biochemical shock waves that disturb the rest of the body.

In the Buddhist tradition, natural healing of the mind, body and spirit begins with a healthy love relationship in which compassion and loving kindness, both intentional “emotions” are the main foci. In Chinese, the word “compassion” means, “removing suffering and giving happiness.” In Vipassana meditation true compassion has the power to root out the cause of misery in people’s lives and bodies allowing them to relax and feel the energy of true acceptance. The Buddha taught that through observation and acceptance of ourselves, and others, we can rid ourselves of stress and its related diseases.

Have you ever noticed the way your body relaxes in the presence of a smiling child, one who is looking at you with undisguised pleasure? The same holds true when we are in acceptance of ourselves and others … everything relaxes.

Picture the effect on the body: All systems relax - knowing they are in the presence of safety - and let go, muscles no longer clench, the breathing slows and becomes regular, and the entire body releases its “feel good” endorphins.  Studies have shown that both giving and receiving acceptance create these responses in our bodies. My studies have found that when you feel this way towards another, he or she feels it back for you, causing a synergy in which the two create an even larger third. What would happen with even larger groups of acceptance?

Along with the mental intention, there is the physical. Hippocrates claimed “all curative processes start with touch.” In animals we know that with tactile stimulation; when they are stroked, petted and cared for, they have much lower stress responses, in terms of their endocrine response, than do animals that aren’t shown such attention.

Human physical contact — the feeling of skin on skin, the tickle of hair on face, the intimate scent drawn in by nose pressed to neck — is one of the most precious, priceless things Homo sapiens can offer one another.

Mothers and their babies share it one way, friends and siblings share it another, teams and crowds in a celebratory scrum share it a third. And of course lovers share it in the most complex way of all.

Physiologically, human touch increases the production of endorphins, growth hormone and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. Studies have found that hospital patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. Research suggests that married people may live longer than singles, that happily marrieds do best of all.

So if touch, acceptance and love equal health, how does one manifest love?

Intention is always the first step. Share your time, energy, and self with others. Look for ways to fell accepting of your loved ones. Find and do things you know make them happy. For instance, you might cook a meal or do the dishes as a pleasant surprise, or you might send them a card, listing all of their many special qualities. You can even simply think loving thoughts and send them out to them and use the law of quantum physics. (More on that later) As you give freely of your love, you will receive meaningful love (and health) in return.

I hope you find the rich health rewards of loving connections with your loved ones! Make every day Valentine’s Day. It will not only make your loved ones happier and healthier, but will provide the added bonus of doing it for yourself too.

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Laurel Robinson was trained as a dietician and Master NLP Practitioner. Currently she teaches weight-loss and seasonal cleanse classes and provides individual weight-loss programs.. She also works as a psychologist and life coach from her office on W Colorado. Call 708-0356 or email laurelmrob@yahoo.com.

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