Power of Touch



Eder Capoblanco, via Flickr

Christy VanArragon and Joshua Leo look at the importance of physical touch for health.

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Transcript


Voice 1

Hello and welcome to Spotlight. I'm Christy VanArragon.

Voice 2

And I'm Joshua Leo. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

People have many ways to communicate with each other. Most of us speak with words. Some of us communicate through reading and writing. But there is another way that many people communicate. Most people do not even think about it! This is communication through physical touch. How many people do you touch every day? Do you shake hands? Put your arm around a friend? Kiss your children?

Voice 2

Physical touch is very important for people. It is a way to communicate our feelings without words. It can have a very large effect on our lives. It can even help us to be healthier. Today's Spotlight is on the power of touch, especially to heal.

Voice 1

There are many ways of touching. If you see a friend who has been away you may put your arm around him or even give her a kiss. Touch can be very brief – a light pat on the back, or a touch of the hand. Or it can be longer, like a parent holding a child, or a husband rubbing his wife's feet.

Voice 2

Every culture has different ways to use the sense of touch. For example, men hold hands in Saudia Arabia. In the United States, this would be very unusual! Japanese bow instead of touching. Italians, French, and Argentines kiss on the check when meeting, and in England a handshake is good. But all people feel connected to their friends and relatives through some kind of touch. It is a natural human activity.

Voice 1

Everyone knows that humans need food and water and air to live. But did you know that people need to be touched too? This is especially true for babies. Babies born too early are at great risk of health problems. But if parents can hold these babies, they are much healthier. One study was done on babies with HIV. Those babies who were held and touched gained weight and cried less. In fact, all children who receive more positive touch grow and learn better. They are more happy and grow at their normal rate.

Voice 2

There have been studies to show that even adults need a good amount of positive touch. Caring touch brings a sense of well-being and security. People who have more physical contact have longer lives and do better at work. They also get sick less often and have better relationships.

Voice 1

Many doctors use physical touch to heal. There is even a way of healing and strengthening the body that is only through touch. This is called massage therapy. Massage therapy builds on the natural thing that humans do when they have pain: they rub. If you hit your head, you rub the hurt place. If a child is hurt, you might rub his back to make him feel better. The massage therapist is trained about all the parts of the human body. She can use her hands to move and heal the parts that are causing pain.

Voice 2

Massage has been used in China for over three thousand years. It was also used by people in many other parts of the ancient world - places like India, Egypt, Greece and Persia. But the science of massage has developed since these ancient times. About two hundred years ago, a Swedish doctor developed a new kind of massage. It is widely used in the Western world. But Eastern and Western forms of massage have influenced each other. Now, people use both methods everywhere in the world!

Voice 1

There are many good results when people use massage for health problems. Massage can help lower blood pressure or stop pain in the body. It increases the blood flow around the body which makes the body's systems stronger. Today, many people who compete in sports also use massage. Massage is a good way to heal from an injury. It can also prevent getting hurt while playing sports.

Voice 2

Massage cannot solve all your health problems. If people have a health problem, they should always visit their doctor. Massage is often called a complementary medicine. This means that it can help but it should not replace a visit to the doctor or health center.

Voice 1

People have known about the power of touch for a long time. This idea is even in the Christian Bible. There are many stories about Jesus Christ healing serious health problems, usually with touch. He touched people that no one else would touch. This is especially clear in a story about a man with leprosy, a serious skin disease. In ancient times, people with leprosy lived away from healthy people. By law, no one would touch them. People were afraid to spread the disease.

Voice 3

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man with leprosy walked by. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground. He begged Jesus, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

Jesus reached out and touched the man. "I am willing," he said "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left the man and the man was cured.

Voice 2

People who study the Bible say that touch was important here because no one would touch this man. Jesus was showing that the man was truly healed. He was safe. Jesus healed many people in this way. Jesus also healed people's hearts and minds. Humans do not have this same kind of power to miraculously heal with touch. But Jesus' example does show the importance of touch for all people.

Voice 1

Physical touch has a great effect on the human body. Touch can heal us from hurts in our mind or emotions. We feel better every day when we sit with our parents or children and experience physical closeness. It can make us strong. Doctors use touch to heal. But you can use touch too. You do not need any special training to show your love through touch. With a simple touch, a hug, a kiss, or holding hands, you can help someone feel better.

Voice 1

The writer of this program was Rena Dam. The producer was Joshua Leo. The voices were from the United States. Computer users can hear our programs, read our scripts, and see our word list on our website at http://www.radio.english.net. This program is called 'Power of Touch'.

Voice 2

If you have a comment or question you can email us. Our email address is radio@english.net. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Do you think touch is important? Why or why not?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
edwin
said on October 20, 2010

IT IS BETTER , BECAUSE ALL PEOPLE WANT TO REPRESENT THEIR FEELINGS AND IT IS A GOD FOR THIS

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yinshen
said on January 04, 2012

oh I like it so much,I think that I should touch people more than I’ve ever done before.Thumb up for this..

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nguyenthengoc
said on January 05, 2012

It’s trely a useful program for learning English. I think, it’s better if add more some typical pictures for more lively.

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nguyenthengoc
said on January 05, 2012

I know the program along time ago. But now I have just connected again. I found out in the program many interesting stories. It brings us understanding and to sympathize. I love it. Thank much again.

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nguyenthengoc
said on January 05, 2012

Oh, sorry! Not “more lively” but livelier.

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Orante
said on January 12, 2015

This program is good for learning english and for soul health . You are wonderfull

Learning Everything's avatar
Learning Everything
said on January 15, 2015

Dear speakers. GOD bless you. Last time, I listened this program is very easy because they speak slowly. I can listen than repeat. But now, they speak very fast that make more trouble to learn. Can you speak slowly? Thanks

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Mrs. Van
said on January 16, 2015

Yes, this is a intersting story. I absolutely agree the importance of physical touch.

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Samuel cherilus
said on March 17, 2015

Wow, it’s very important and hopeful this method. I feel better when I read and listen to those information. Indeed people can get heal in listening only. So I encourage those activities. I wish you continue to put more and more information so that people can follow them and find out a solution for their diseases, but also for their understanding and keep their mind awake . Thank you .