Why the Intent Behind your Touch Matters
by Kristin Deiss
Think energy work lives behind closed doors in candle lit rooms whose tones are set by new age music playing in the background? Think again! We use it in our everyday lives, especially though the power of physical touch. Read below to discover why the intent behind your touch matters.
Energy is palpable and we have all had the experience of feeling energy whether we realize it or not.
Have you ever walked into a room and didn't feel quite right about the space or met someone that you just didn't get good "vibes" from? Much in the same way, have you noticed how we like to surround ourselves with people who we feel good around, who emit a certain "je ne sais quoi?"
Those feelings that we get are a direct result of our perceptions of the energies around us.
What's amazing about these experiences is how naturally those perceptions and feelings arise-- we don't necessarily try to pick up on good or bad energy, we just do. Sometimes it's that simple.
Now, just imagine how powerful that energy can become when imbued with a healing intent, and how quickly that energy can travel when aided with touch.
The Power of Touch
It's no coincidence that our most basic instinct when we feel physical pain is to put our hands on the area that hurts.
When you hit your funny bone, what do you do? You grab your elbow. When you stub your toe, what do you do? You may massage it a bit to try and soothe the pain. (Or, depending on your surroundings, act like you're fine and coolly walk it off!) When you have a stomach ache, what do you do? Place your hands on your stomach.
Similarly, when we feel emotional pain, we want to be comforted through touch- perhaps a hug from a loved one, or a gentle pat on the back. Our instincts tell us to reciprocate that comfort when we see a loved one upset or in distress, whether through an embrace or a simple hand on the shoulder. These natural instincts exemplify just how powerful touch can be, especially when used for healing.
This is why the intent behind your touch matters.
Setting the Intent Behind Your Touch
Because physical contact is so powerful and pervasive, this transference of energy happens in many areas of our lives.
Take a yoga or dance class for instance.
Many instructors use a hands-on adjustment technique, meaning that the instructor will manually adjust their students in class. This manual adjustment, whether knowingly or not, is a transference of energy from one person to the other though the act of physical touch.
As a yoga/dance instructor myself, I strive to keep this in mind whenever I put my hands on a student.
By having intent to "help" or "aid" rather than "correct" or "make better," a hands-on adjustment can go from making a student feel defeated and wrong to allowing them to feel empowered.
The intent behind the touch defines the energy that is transferred.
Negative intent = negative energy and positive intent = positive energy.
In fact, research shows that people are better able to identify emotions from touch better than they can through facial or vocal expressions.
You may be asking yourself, it can't be that simple so what am I missing? But it is!
How can we utilize the power of touch in our lives?
This transference of energy through physical contact reaches far beyond the yoga mat.
Think of all the daily activities you perform that require touch, and how those activities can illicit positive energy from simply changing your intent behind those actions.
A simple handshake at the work place can go from threatening to welcoming, just as easily as a pat on the back can go from condescending to supporting.
For those who work in the health care or body work fields, this concept is especially helpful and important to keep in mind, as these professions require a large amount of physical contact with others.
Doctors, nurses, dancers, personal trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists, coaches, dance teachers, yoga instructors, etc., can all benefit from this idea. By making an effort to keep a positive intent throughout a session with a client, patient, or student, those that hold these professions can really transform the outcome of their touch, resulting in a far better experience for everyone involved, themselves included!
Studies have shown that those who initiate touch with the intent to comfort or care receive just as many benefits as the person receiving the contact.
Amazing, isn’t it?
That said, you don't have to be a doctor or a masseuse to put this idea into practice.
As you become more aware of your intentions and how they can influence your energy, in turn affecting the energy of those around you, you will begin to see just how powerful this notion is and how frequently it comes into play.
Becoming aware allows you to then be mindful not only of the power of touch, but the power of YOUR touch and why the intent behind your touch matters!
Have any stories you’d like to share about the power of touch? I’d love to hear from you! If so, drop a comment below!
Kristin Deiss is a dancer, educator, yogi, healer, and mom trying to live her best life through helping others improve theirs.
She holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and is a certified yoga teacher, Reiki Master, and Integrated Energy Practitioner.
Kristin is currently the Commercial Dance Chair at Hussian College Los Angeles and writes about overcoming failure on Stir the Sage. For inspiration, laughs, and cute pics of her toddler, follow her on Instagram.