In my field of massage therapy we often talk about the importance of human touch. There are lots of benefits to massage...pain relief, stress reduction, improved movement, and much, much more. For certain populations, we highlight the benefit of the touch itself. For senior citizens, many of whom are widowed, the touch they receieve in a massage session is the only time they are touched and we all know how beneficial it is to a person's well-being. There has been research which proves premature babies develop healthier and more quickly if they are held each day, as opposed to being left alone in the incubator.
But what about the other, less obvious, populations who are also in need of touch? Single people? People, like me, who are "in between" relationships and don't have children. I touch people all day, but sometimes I go days without human touch, except for that which I give to others in my work as a massage therapist. What about those in relationships, who are going though a difficult time with their spouse and haven't had a hug in days or weeks or months?
I think we often underestimate the power of touch and sometimes the smallest gesture can make a world of difference to another person.