Power of Touch


TOUCH. Sometimes words just don’t do. No matter how powerful the written or spoken word is, there are things we want to say to others that would be difficult to express through letters and scribbles. Perhaps cooking for them can help, maybe even just going for a drive with them. A quiet but potent way of making your emotions known is also through touch.

The Power of Touch
Touch. Artwork by my husband.

Stories on the Power of Touch

I remember this one time I was watching TV at my parents’ home. My Dad was walking around the room where I was in, fixing some of his things. Before leaving the room, he went over to me and patted me on the head. It was one of my favorite moments. We have a quiet relationship, my Dad and I, and even if he doesn’t say “I love you” out loud as much, I know that’s what the pat on the head meant for him.

I remember my late grandfather, a military man with a booming laugh. He wasn’t demonstrative, but that didn’t stop me from giving him a kiss on the cheek and one-way hugs. That’s why when he reciprocated one time with a strong pat on my back, I was pleasantly surprised. Soon after that, when I’d tell him I loved him, he’d say “I love you” back with those strong pats on my back.

I remember a time when my Mom was recovering from a gall bladder operation. She was very much in pain and called for me to be at her side. While she lay in bed, I smoothed her hair and lightly stroked her forehead, the way she did when I was sick as a child. It calmed her, she said. I watched the pain in her face disappear as she drifted off to sleep, to the rhythm of gentle caresses on her forehead.

With the right person, in the right situation, and with the right intention, touch effectively expresses so many thoughts and emotions that words just can’t. Maybe it’s because that with a touch I am made to feel “You’re alive, I’m alive. We’re alive together!” — less alone, comforted, more loved.

“It’s the first sense we experience in the womb and the last one we lose before death,” it says here. Perhaps that is why touch therapy is very important for babies and for the sick. Maybe it’s because sincerity can be felt most in a touch. Words can be abused and taken advantage of, but touch could be less gullible. Quiet and potent, that is the beauty of touch.

When was the last time you sincerely and quietly touched someone? When was the last time you were sincerely and quietly touched by another?

6 Comments on Power of Touch

  1. Marie
    December 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing Toni :) Yes I believe the power of touch is real. It can heal, and one touch can say a million words. I guess as a mum I am always hugging my little one non-stop everyday. As if I want to capture the moment and keep memories of her being little in a magic bottle. Of course, I don’t forget to touch hubby dear too. Tho I must admit it’s easier to be a mum than a wife sometimes, but then again.. in the heart of it all I know the my husband is = love, and our hearts always hugging.

    • Toni
      December 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm (10 years ago)

      “Our hearts are always hugging.” That’s beautiful, Marie!!!!!

  2. A Gracious Life
    December 2, 2013 at 6:58 am (10 years ago)

    We have a bout with my father’s illness throughout this year. Every time I am near his hospital bed, the power of touch is magnified, not just for him but for me. When he makes the effort to touch my mind amidst his weak silence, my heart breaks, my heart hopes and I am happy that he touched me, all at the same time.

    • Toni
      December 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm (10 years ago)

      That’s really beautiful. :) Thanks for sharing that.

  3. janakidiary
    December 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm (10 years ago)

    I grew in a family that’s not so touchy but my dad loves to kiss his kids in the forehead and blow the girls’ hair. That’s sweet enough for me but now I have my own family, I make sure we hug and kiss and tickle on a daily basis. A parent’s touch really means so much to a child.

    • Toni
      December 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm (10 years ago)

      My Grandpa wasn’t very demonstrative either. That’s why I cherished every moment he patted me on the back or returned my hug. He’s gone now, but those moments of connection stay with me. :) Thanks for sharing your touch story with me!


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