What is the power of touch anyway?
Science tells us that a touch triggers the release of brain endorphins: an endogenous analgesic more powerful than heroin or morphine. But touch is more than just a scientific confluence of brain chemicals.
My late grandmother used to tell me that the only way to tame a wild cat was to rub the cat's forehead several times. One day, a relative from the mountain village gave my family a wild female cat. She was small but fierce. Nobody in the house dared to touch her.
Grandma's wisdom compelled me to try. I approached the cat. Initially, she would jump and would bend its body and tail in rage. Meanwhile, a loud, ferocious cry would come out from her vicious mouth. Each time I attempted to touch her, she would run away. Eventually I prevailed. She later gave in and allowed me to rub her forehead: initially, for a few seconds, then for a few minutes.
After a few days, she considerably softened that she would allow me to rub her head almost no end. Eventually she became my pet. We became very close that she would run to meet me when I come from school and would convey a lonely cry when I depart. Yes, like real close friends.
A touch can indeed tame a wild animal. But can it tame and soften a disturbed child? A study shows that children who have not been hugged enough have a tendency to be violent and aggressive compared to those who receive hug more often.
Perhaps, there is more to hug and touch than just release of endorphins.
A touch provides comfort in a freezing night. It makes us feel secure because it unites us with an affectionate, loving, and feeling human being. The warmth it brings is better than the warmth a fireplace can provide.
A touch shields us from the worries of today because of the confidence it brings. Like internet, it allows high-speed access to another soul.