Photo by Sun StarSocial scientists have shown in many studies over the years that a supportive touch can have good outcomes in a number of different realms.

Just somebody simply touching our arm and holding it, buffers the physiological consequences of the stress hormone cortisol, lights up the orbital frontal cortex, and increases the release of oxytocin, creating a pleasant sensation that promotes trust.

(READ the story or LISTEN at NPR)


  1. I’ve always known this to be true, and it’s nice to see science back it up. But one important component that was not addressed is intention. If the person touches you with the intent to manipulate, the result is not the same. Mistrust and unpleasant sensations can ensue. Only if the person is truly caring and the touch comes from the heart will trust and pleasant sensations result.

  2. so true Graciela. also i would say a nice look in the eye works wonders too, if it is done with good intent. if you feel a bad emotion in a moment, best not to look someone in the eye, just as you would not touch them at such times, it’s just the same

    if you feel a good emotion, do share it

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