I feel connected to Kaua'i for the way the island nurtures me in a physical and tactile way; for example, the silky feeling of the ocean on my skin and the unique feeling of sand on my feet and body. I also seek to share nurturing touch with other humans because it brings me a higher sense of gratification.
Here is a list of 5 things I've done to increase the amount of human touch in my life.
1. Hand Holding
The act of holding one's hand is enough to start calming my nervous system and slow down my mind.
Try getting permission to hold hands with a friend anytime. Better yet, do this while on a silent walk on one of Kauai's beaches or while taking in one of her magnificent sunsets or vistas.
2. Asking for Hugs
Scientists have evidenced that increased hand holding and hugging boosts 'feel good' hormones and the immune system among other benefits. I always try to ask someone's permission or consent before going in for a hug. This often makes the hug better due to the extra intentionality as well.
3. Partner Dancing
Try putting on music and dancing with a friend using touch to explore the music together spontaneously. Ecstatic dance has been a social outlet as a way to get comfortable with my body and sharing physical closeness with others. Ecstatic Dance is a safe, sacred, nonverbal space for exploring authentic free form movement in community. They are hosted regularly on Kauai and around the world.
Get more massage! This does not necessarily mean paying a professional to get one. Its likely many of your family and friends would be willing to do a trade. Giving and receiving just a few minutes of massage on a regular basis can be transformational.
Try giving someone you appreciate even just 10 minutes of massage (5 minutes each foot for example) Don't be discouraged if you don't know how to massage, more important than fancy techniques are offering your presence and nurturing touch. Slow down and have fun. Encourage feedback from your partner to improve. Receiving massage is also one of the best ways to learn how to give!
5. Find a Snuggle Partner.
At times being single can be challenging for me, I feel a deficit of nourishing touch in my life. Fortunately there is an emerging culture of loving touch enthusiasts that understand the important distinction between affirming touch and sexual expression. There may be a snuggle gathering in your area to meet like-minded individuals. In addition, there may be people in your life who, with clear boundaries and communication, could become a positive touch partner.
A Kaua'i Resource
Golden Lotus Studio and Massage School in Kapa'a has a student clinic Monday and Wednesday evenings, offering a more affordable $35 an hour massages and an opportunity to support student development.
They also host Ecstatic Dance Temple three Sunday evenings a month as well as Salsa dance classes. More details on their website http://www.goldenlotuskauai.org/