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Quincy, California
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March 19, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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March 19, 2014
 

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14B Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Ulle Jn, Kecora, Progressive, ffeporter Simple human contact ha What was once considered a Berkeley/hippie/alternative practice has now entered the mainstream and is garnering conventional support -- this is the art and science of "touch." Science is now able to measure the many benefits of touch. Such things as a pat on the back, a touch on the arm can be more important than we realize. This kind of touch is one of our primary tools of expressing compassion. Studies are showing that human touch is essential to communication and health. Dacher Kelter, who received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in psychology, and is now a Professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, conducts experiments in the realm of touch and compassion. In one experiment, the question was asked whether or not humans In the Bag Pork Assorted Family Packs 0 Center Cut COMMUNITY GREEN PAMELA NOEL could clearly communicate compassion through the mechanism of touch. Building a barrier in his lab, he had participants who were unknown to one another put their arms through a hole in the barrier. The other person was given a list of emotions to communicate -- each through a one-second touch. The person whose arm was being touched, had to guess the emotion being communicated. Kelter determined that the odds of guessing the right emotion by chance were about 8 percent. Pork ork (Roast or Chops) Sirloi Pack Boneless Country Style or Italian In his study, he found that participants guessed the emotion of "compassion" correctly 60 percent of the time. He cites two interesting gender differences, however. When women tried to communicate anger to men, they did not get it right. They had no idea what the women were trying to communicate. When men tried to communicate "compassion," the women didn't know what the men were trying to communicate: This was the one gender exception in the experiment. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus..,? Kelter found, in other research, that people are able to discern love, gratitude and compassionate touches much better than they can detect those feelings in vocal or facial communication. very powerful benefits Another observation that is widely shared by researchers is that Western cultures are very touch deprived, especially in the United States. Sydney Jourard conducted a study where he observed the conversations of friends in different parts of the world as they sat in a cafe together. Observing the conversations for the same amount of time he found, that in England, the friends touched each other zero times in an hour. In the United States, when the friends became enthusiastic, they touched each other twice. In France, friends touched each other 110 times per hour; and in Puerto Rico, 180 times. (Research cited in "The Science of Touch," by Dacher Keltner.) There are benefits that we miss when we hold back from touching, starting from the Boneless, Whole Pork Pork Shoulder Thick Sliced Cherrywood lb. 15 Ib, Box arhill per box minute we are born. Tiffany Field, a leader in the field of touch, found that preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for . five - 10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who received the "standard of care" medical treatment. So what does loving, compassionate touch communicate? Studies show that touch signals safety and trust. It soothes. It calms cardiovascular stress. In the journal "Emotion" it was found that NBA basketball teams whose players touch each other win more games. Proper uses of touch have incredible potential to increase physical well-being and lower medical costs. It's not just good for our muscles, but our entire mental and physical health. Touching patients with Alzheimer's disease can have huge effects on getting them to relax, make connections with others and reduce depression. Research at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health finds that getting a pat on the back from a doctor, with eye contact, may boost survival : rates of patients with complex: diseases. In educational settings, : studies have shown that when! teachers pat students in a : friendly way, those students : are three times more likely to ! speak and contribute in class:: '. Gentle forms of touch therapy -- whether it is massage or other related ; therapy -- have been found to ! contribute the following:. benefits: relieving tension, '- :! managing stress, encouraging relaxation, reducing pain or the perception of pain, speeding healing, strengthening the immune system and creating more i connectedness with one :: : another. So, whether "the touch movement" originated in : Berkeley or not, is probably' !" : irrelevant at this point. In pursuing a more resilient and sustainable life for ourselves, some form of regular touch can encourage not only a :: more pleasurable life, but one i l that helps create health and :: connection in moving :: forward to better our planet. !: Amazing Animalsi Snickers, who is checking out her favorite brew in this photo submitted by Sandy Cunneen, wishes everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day. Satchmo doesn't do a very good job of hiding in this photo shared by Graeagle resident Kimberly Kaznowski. Satchmo and his sister Lily, along with four dogs and two horses, keep the Kaznowksi household lively. J