“What kind of relief is affordable, efficient, effective and nontoxic?
The answer is touch. Hugs and other forms of non-sexual physical soothing, such as hand-holding and head-stroking, intervene at the physical level to help the brain and the body calm down from overwhelming states of anxiety, panic and shame.”
Sadly, for many survivors of sexual abuse, the easy healing power of a hug is beyond our capacity. Physical touch can be very disturbing for some survivors. On the other hand, it is something that can change as we heal. There was a time when the thought of being touched in a non-sexual way was utterly unbelievable to me, but now I can enjoy a good hug as much as the next person.
And a hug really does calm me.