Nurturing: Touching Facts

In our busy lives it is often convenient to put babies into plastic cocoons or capsules rather than carry them close to us. We are often too quick to isolate little ones to their own bedroom at nights. Babies need contact with the presence of another human being. They wont be spoiled by getting too much of it. It is necessary for their growth and development.

Examples from the animal kingdom show that baby elephants are touched by their parents at least every 5 minutes 24 hours a day. Animal researchers conclude that the constant touching is an integral part of the physical, mental and emotional development of baby elephants.

Mother rats fussing over their babies stimulate the neural connections in the brain that enhance learning. At least that’s the case with rats in studies conducted by Canadian researchers.

The tests involved two control groups, one with attentive rat mothers, the other with indifferent rat mothers. The offspring of the attentive rat mothers, those who stroked, groomed, and licked their offspring more often, scored higher on tests given to both groups over a 15-day period.

In addition to these types of tests, researchers also extracted cells from the hippocampus of the rats to examine differences between the two groups. The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning in rats. They discovered that there were extra synapses, or connections between nerve cells, in the cells of the nurtured rats. Cells from the neglected offspring did not reveal these same findings.

The researchers concluded that their findings apply in a broad sense to humans as well. They believe the experiments basically define the biological ramifications of the mother-child relationship. Young babies grow and thrive in nurturing relationships, which is an important component to them developing trust in relationships.

Breast-feeding is one of nature’s ways to accomplish touch, nurturing, and closeness that is so important to young babies. Maybe this is why breastfed babies have a higher IQ.

The importance of touch does not cease when we grow up either. Every human being’s life is enhanced by touch. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 2000 analysed 23 previous studies including over 2,700 patients using “laying on of hands,” or therapeutic touch predominantly. In 57% of the studies, patients had observable benefits, such as a reduction in pain or accelerated wound healing.

It sure feels like we could get in touch with our abilities to touch the hearts and minds of our fellow travellers on this planet.

Chiropractic couples the scientifically documented benefit of correcting subluxations to release the innate intelligence of your body with the powerful effects of touch. What a synergy! No wonder Chiropractic is such a life-changing event.