Wednesday 24 November 2021

Count Me In For A Massage


Professor Robin Dunbar (b.1947) is seen as the originator of ’Dunbar’s number’. This is 150. It is the suggested limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain social relationships. Another person seems happy that he can maintain a combined total of about 100 contacts actively on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Now in this, whether your friendly massage therapist has 150 clients is his business. Other numbers suggested, and calculated somehow, are the lesser numbers of 5, 15, and 35, and the greater numbers of 500 and 1500. This may be OK with the greater numbers, if you have almost all day, every day, to be on the Internet!


A lot of people may reply, ‘Chance would be a fine thing; I should like to have the time!’

Many people surely, and maybe your masseur too, find one of the lesser numbers more manageable to handle, relating to the use of social media. There is then time for actual massage and other treatments in person. In this we may play bingo, as it were, as these are not the only numbers. We may have a number of stable social relationships between 35 and 150. What happened between that gap, I don’t know.

Professor Dunbar linked some of his suggestions with research into primates. An old comedy film has a Principal advising the Matron of a girls school to ‘tell them about the behaviour of the birds and bees, with a passing reference or two to monkeys!’ So some of this numbering may be a bit obscure, if relating humans with primates in some areas. We might end up looking as befuddled as the Matron did after the advice she had been given.

If the 150 figure is true, in some ways possibly, we know that we shall not be able to maintain the same level of relationship, friendship, actual contact, etc, with all of the 150, unless we do nothing else but socialise, party, go to festivals, etc, all of our lives. Some relationships may be deep, some light or superficial, and some middling.

This is a somewhat tentative link with massage, but come along as and when you can. For the masseur it will be good, though exhausting, if having 150 bookings, but hopefully there won’t be 150 people on a waiting list for massage or whatever other treatment they request. Count yourself in for massage or whatever treatment, and the masseur will count you in as a client too.