Last updated on 7th June 2017
Touch can be profoundly soothing and settling. In an intriguing study - "Nonverbal channel use in communication of emotion: how may depend on why" - researchers found that when participants generated displays of eleven different emotions, touch was the most preferred nonverbal way of showing love and sympathy. Welcomed touch can be very good for us physically, so we know touch settles stress hormones - "Social touch modulates endogenous mu-opioid system activity in humans" ( ), and can even reduce vulnerability to infections - see "Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness".