Cuddling, A Springboard for Deep Relaxation and Transformation

I am usually shocked when a person tells me they were not shown affection as a child growing up. When someone tells me they were never touched or hugged by their parent, I shutter. I shutter because as a Holistic Practitioner and Intuitive Healer, I know what happens when a child is not shown physical affection by their parents. Our source relationships (parental connections) set the programming for how we live the rest of our lives. That does not mean our life path is set in stone, we can ALWAYS change our programming. However, some programs are more difficult to change than others and the ones that involve physical abuse and/or neglect can be some of the most difficult programs to change.

 

In his book, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind, David J. Linden says, “Child-rearing advice of the 1920’s from the psychologist John B. Watson (the founder of psychological movement called Behaviorism) cautioned parents about spoiling their children with physical affection: “Let your behavior always be objective and kindly firm. Never hug and kiss them. Never let them sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinarily good job of a difficult task.” 

 

This was in the 1920’s, so anyone that subscribed to this philosophy when raising young children, would have raised children that did not know what it was like to be touched or shown physical affection, possibly resulting in mild to severe disorders in their human development.

 

In Touch, David Linden goes on to say, “…when deprived newborns of social touch, as occurred in grossly understaffed Romanian orphanages in the 1980s and 1990s, disaster unfolded: Growth is slowed, compulsive rocking and other self-soothing behaviors emerge, and, if not rectified, emergent disorders of mood, cognition, and self-control can persist through adulthood.” After only an hour per day of touch and limb manipulation from a caregiver, these debilitating problems can be circumvented if applied early enough in life.

 

Simply put, touch is a necessity for human development.

 

Cuddle therapy is becoming widely popular all over the world for the reasons previously mentioned and for the research that is being done worldwide. Researchers at the Metropolitan University in England found cuddling lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and generally combats stress. The study also found a third of the population receives no hugs on a daily basis, but 75% want more. Researchers from the University of North Carolina found that couples that hugged for prolonged periods had higher levels of oxytocin -- the so called "cuddle hormone." Oxytocin creates feelings of calmness, eases depression, and reduces stress.

 

Cuddle sessions cannot be mistaken for anything other than cuddling. Cuddle space is non-sexual space.  Clothing stays on at all times. Establishing boundaries and open communication are essential for creating a space conducive to emotional healing and relaxation.

 

So, what if someone gets aroused while cuddling? Arousal is a natural physiological response and much like a meditation, just because we have an itch, does not mean we must scratch. Changing positions and/or taking a break is sometimes helpful in this situation.   

 

Being held in a safe, relaxing, open, and honest environment could help to begin the healing process. It allows us to be vulnerable and therein lays tremendous strength. In our patriarchal society we have been taught that weakness and vulnerability are synonymous. Many men (and women) do not allow themselves to cry, fail, hurt, grieve, or show emotion of any kind. There is now a safe place to do that. 

-Brandy D.

Join us Sunday February 14th for our Cuddle workshop.  Details can be found at www.happybellystudios.com or by emailing Info@happybellystudios.com

For many of us, 2015 was not an ‘easy’ year, but one of immense growth (it certainly was for me), and I knew it was important to take space to release that.

 

 

For many of us, 2015 was not an ‘easy’ year, but one of immense growth (it certainly was for me), and I knew it was important to take space to release that. 
 

I want to pass on my version of the process, so that you too can bring closure and gratitude to 2015, then have a big breath and a pause before welcoming 2016.

You’ll want to grab a journal and a candle.

You’ll also need about 30 minutes to take time to get into your heart – 

Light your candle and ask to be connected to your heart (not your head) and start answering the following questions in your journal:

Let your pen guide you and don’t judge the answers, just let it all out onto the page.

Q1. What am I most grateful for from 2015?

Q2. What has expired in my life now?

Q3. What’s no longer in alignment in my life?

Q4. What’s rising in me now?

Wrap this up with another mini-meditation and release the process for a few days.

Please be kind to yourself as you allow 2015 to fall off you in the coming days (there’s no rush here. We’re not ‘cutting off’ 2015. We’re releasing it gently; It served us well).

During this time you might take some time to connect with family and friends; to really prioritise joy, fun and self-care.

Setting 2016 intentions based on what unfolds for YOU.

breathe, stretch, shake- let it go.

breathe, stretch, shake- let it go.

You need a way to calm your kid(s), eh? S/he is active and you just can’t seem to calm them down. Maybe, just maybe your kid struggles with anxiety, depression, add/adhd. And that’s okay. That DOES NOT make your child/children bad. They just need someone who will be patient with them and slow them down a bit. Let them know that it’s okay to come from 100% down to maybe…90%? Kidding. :)

Are ‘New Year weight loss/gain’ in your resolutions for 2016?

We make the same New Year Resolutions and how many of us stick to them? Maybe for the first three months? I’ll even give it six, but after that, what happens? The New Year celebration has come and gone. Valentine’s Day has come and gone (and let’s not act like we’re not trying to stay wine fine for our hunny on that special date night). Spring Break has come and gone and then, we start to feel unmotivated when summer starts. But, you’d think that we’d WANT to stay in shape for the summer? Life simply gets in the way.

One to One Stretching: A customized approach to stress relief

Is your inflexibility causing problems with balance, agility, or simple day-to-day functioning?

Is a stress-related illness affecting your health? Relationships? Work productivity?

Do you want all the benefits of stretching but don’t want to work that hard?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you would likely benefit greatly from One 2 One Stretching.