The Healing and Intimate Power of Touch

Image Credit: Zoe

Touch is a powerful connection of communication.

I was reminded of this message about the power of touch when I watched a show on TV last week, where the character, a well-renowned surgeon, had already self-diagnosed himself when he came into the emergency room. He requested a specific doctor who was one of his former med students. One of the things this surgeon taught his students was to be aware of when patients are nearing the end of their life or when many have received a weighty diagnosis and never forget to administer compassion and the human touch. During times like these, people are afraid and feel alone. He told them to hold the patient’s hand in order to comfort them and assure them that they were not alone.

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Image Credit: RODNAE Productions

While I understand that doctors have many patients to see, it’s always a good practice to be sensitive and have good bedside manners, by not speaking too clinically but relaying the patient’s condition to them and their families with an ounce of empathy and compassion. I remember having to remind my mother’s doctor of her frosty attitude when mom was having her leg amputated. I took her aside and asked that she up her ante on her compassion quotient and lessen her brash, no-nonsense, hands-off clinical approach when discussing mom’s surgery in front of her because that was my mother, not an animal. I didn’t get into analyzing this doctor’s attitude with her, I simply asked her to be mindful of the way she spoke about my mother’s condition in front of her and us. Maybe that was this doctor’s approach to avoid getting too close to her patients. But, during the rest of my mother’s stay in the hospital, I didn’t have to worry about her doctor’s rigidity after that.

The power of touch, that compassionate and empathetic physical gesture, is something we yearn for when we feel broken and dismayed. Hospitals aren’t the only places to administer such sensitivity and humanness.

Never underestimate the healing power of a gentle touch or a soothing, reassuring tone in your voice. Whether giving someone a hug or holding their hand as they deal with a difficult situation, approach your nonverbal gesticulation with heartfelt kindness. You never know when you will need an empathetic, loving, and caring touch.

39 thoughts on “The Healing and Intimate Power of Touch

  1. Beautifully written, Kym, but we all die alone. Compassion in the medical profession is vital. I come from a family of doctors (7), and studied medicine before switching to university.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aparna12 says:

    Wonderful, dear Kym. ‘I absolutely agree with your view that doctors should be kind and compassionate while treating their patients. But some of them are so money minded that they suggest unnecessary tests for simple ailments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW, how awesome Joanna. Bravo to your pedigree of medical professionals. πŸ₯° I found that compassion is sometimes missing from the charts and I have seen firsthand how some people who are already alone and afraid, are too often dismissed. Sad situation. Thanks so much for chiming in my friend. πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ˜Š

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  4. These are compelling home truths, Kym. Thank you. I’m glad your mother’s doctor took what you said to heart. So much of how we show compassion is based on our upbringing. We need to pray for seeing hearts. Some people hate to be touched, mistrust it. To be able to respond wisely in ways that suit each person is a gift that God gives if we only ask!

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  5. I completely agree! Touching someone makes you feel so connected and like you care. I like the pic of the doctor touching her arm, that makes you feel like you are seen and more than patient. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Aparna, isn’t it so sad that we see money as the great motivator in such circumstances. Sadly, some people who do not have substantial healthcare coverage are slighted from getting good healthcare attention. More advocates are bringing this issue to the forefront more these days. That’s a good thing. Thanks so much for chiming in my friend. πŸ€—πŸ₯ΌπŸ©Ί

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Dora, I couldn’t have said that any better. Thank you so much for your insight. I realize that many people are suspicious when and how to react when you touch them. Depending on the setting, I would probably be suspicious too. But when you are spiritually in-tuned with God, He will definitely lead you in the manner of how you should respond and how to soothe the individual’s inhibitions. Thank you for blessing me with your message! πŸ₯³πŸ₯‚πŸ₯°πŸ™πŸΌπŸ˜˜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. WOW, I love your introspect Belladonna, but I agree πŸ’―! You never know what an impact showing a little compassion can do! Hugs and smooches my Warrior Princess! πŸ’πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸŒΊπŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ‘‘πŸ₯³

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  9. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Dear Kym, a story about what happend to your mom, a terrible doctor… OMG! Amazing post the healing intimate power of touch… You are very wise dear friend. It’s very important to be more human, empathy, gentle. Great way to tell true, what happend to the doctor… Interesting share. Thank’s! I love that song and the singer too, so handsome. Have a lovely evening and relaxing tea time! Abrazote mi amiga!!!!

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  10. I’m a touchy person and I used to stop myself but the older I get the more I let go. I felt so bad for people during the pandemic. Missing the human touch sent so many into a depressed state.

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  11. Good for you Kym, standing up for your mom and you and your family on no uncertain terms. Kudos to you, While it’s true they are trained to detach, I find it very disconcerting,. Working with Docs, I find them the most unhealthy in the bunch and difficult to support since they are so overworked and exhausted. It truly drives me crazy. But not our problem.. Your mom was lucky to have you to rally for her. xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  12. Oh my goodness my dear Elvira, gracias, gracias, gracias mi amiga! I really appreciate your very kind and thoughtful words my friend. Yes, compassion and empathy are very important ingredients to have when you are dealing with the public and with patients too. Sometimes we forget about being human just when we need to be.

    Have a relaxing evening and thank you once again for your lovely message. Abrazote!!! πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸŒžπŸ₯‚πŸ₯°

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  13. Oh girlfriend, I truly understand where you are coming from. It’s so sad how humanity has become disconnected. Still, there are those of us who truly understand what empathy and compassion really means! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–πŸ€—πŸ’‹πŸ₯°

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  14. Doctors should have a course on compassion, because it really is a big part of medicine and healing. I get why some are not good at it, but its importance should be emphasised during training. Or perhaps it is already. I’ve not done the training. Truly great doctors know how to show compassion for their patient’s fears and uncertainty.

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  15. Awwww Cindy, thank you so much. πŸ™πŸΌ We are compassionate people and highly sensitive. I find that you need a constant presence with those you love and care about who are either visiting a doctor, in the hospital or in a nursing care facility. I find it unbelievable that some healthcare officials seem to teetotter on the ethical part and with patient connections concerning the Hippocratic oath they took. Maybe I’m wrong, but all too often that’s how I feel, especially when it comes to those I love. Thanks for understanding dawwwwlinkkkkk! πŸ˜πŸ’–πŸ˜˜πŸ’‹πŸ₯° Hugs and smooches!

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  16. Thank you for that Sandra. Yes, there are some doctors out here who know and understand what empathy and compassion does to the comfort and recovery of a patient. We need so many more like them across the globe. πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ˜Š

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  17. I so agree with you! Everyone always needs an advocate when dealing with them and thank god she had you. I totally understand and feel the same way. of course I understand! When they are people you love, it’s so aggravating. When my stepdad was dying this past good Friday, they told me I had to wait for the nurse and I went in to the room she was in and said “you have to come NOW”! It’s a shit show.
    I totally understand. xo

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  18. Oh my gosh Cindy, I totally empathize with you. Yeah girl, it’s a shit show and when you gotta move, ya gotta move! πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Hugs and smooches! πŸ˜˜πŸ’‹πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Aww! Thank’s dear Kym for your warm words always. Exactly, compasiΓ³n, empathy, so important…
    Ha e a relaxing evening as well dear friend! A pleasure. πŸ™πŸ₯°πŸ’–πŸ€—β˜ΊοΈβœ¨πŸ₯‚ Abrazote!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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