Sadly, I know this science is not good news to many a survivor, because being touched is often a huge problem for childhood sexual abuse survivors.
“So there you have it; scientific proof that supportive touch does much more than make you feel good (not that that isn’t enough!); it actually modifies our biochemistry and physiology, and enhances our immune system as well. And perhaps even more significantly, touch promotes a tendency to perceive others less adversarially, to be trusting rather than suspicious, and to be generally less defensive in our interpersonal interactions.”
So, how can we take advantage of this? Well, I’m not going to suggest that if even holding someone’s hands gives you anxiety that you should book a massage appointment. Start small. Touch someone on the shoulder, shake their hand, allow someone to take your hand for a moment. Like most things we are still learning as survivors, it’ll come slowly at first, but start to pick up speed as we get more comfortable and confident.
Yes, it’s important enough to put in this work. The science is clear.