Wednesday 17 November 2021

Massage: The Human Touch


It’s said that the human touch is good for us. This can include massage and associated treatments. Another aspect can be giving hugs, e.g. to friends, pets, and as parents to babies.

With the normal human body temperature being 98F,  psychologist, Alexander Bain (1818-1903), (below) asked why a cushion kept at this same temperature would not be a useful substitute, if no one was around to hug.


But it’s not the same, is it? Even though a soft silky cushion was specified. A cushion, or non-living object, cannot be pleasing in the same way, as in tactile expressions between humans. 

Some things may give us some pleasure though, such as ‘go hug a tree’. Objects cannot respond to us, yet if we do hug a tree, maybe the tree will feel good and feel like growing taller. Or, say nice things to your computer, printer, etc, and it may behave better. This is rather anthropomorphic though – giving human qualities to non-human things.

If making a phone call to your friendly masseur, there is another Alexander Bain (1810-1877), pictured below, who invented, among other things, a telegraph able to transmit up to 1,000 words per minute.


Not that you need 1,000 words to arrange an appointment, unless you go into infinitesimal details of your requirements. But visit again soon, or for a first visit for massage, if you wish and if you can.