Solutions for when our bodies don’t work the way they used to: Touch
Problem: Missing Human Touch
Studies show that a strong social network helps us live longer and stay healthier. A big part of the equation is human touch. Whether it’s a hug, an arm around the shoulder, or a brief pat on the hand, physical connection reduces feelings of stress and isolation and even boosts the immune system. When friends and family aren’t close by, however, getting enough touch can be difficult. Here are a couple of fun and safe ideas that not only help meet this basic human need but are also good for your body.
Solution: Try a Dance Class
Dancing is both a fun social activity and a great form of exercise. Latin, ballroom, swing, and salsa are all partner dances that involve touch. “Sometimes it’s a one-hand connection or hold, sometimes it’s two-hand, and sometimes it’s a dance frame with one arm around the other person,” says Ann Marie Werner, manager of Bravo Dance Studio. Bravo offers group dance classes for all levels including beginners. Students can come in as couples or as individuals, and partners always rotate so everyone gets to dance. More experienced dancers who prefer less structure can also attend dance parties and mixers at the studio.
Where to go: Bravo Dance Studio, 2138 Old Shepherdsville Road, and several other places in Louisville.
Cost: Bravo adult group classes are $7, first one is free. Monthly passes and private lessons are also available.
Solution: Get a Massage
A professional massage is helpful for both body and mind. It can ease pain and discomfort from arthritis, joint pain, and everyday aches and pains while relieving stress and releasing feel-good hormones that promote a sense of relaxation and well-being. There are different types of massage depending on your needs. “Swedish massage, which is lighter touch, might be a good place to start, and the therapist will check in after a few minutes to make sure it’s not too much or too little pressure,” says Andrew Pryor, owner of Elements Massage in Middletown. And if you’re not sure what to wear, the answer is whatever makes you comfortable.
Where to go: Elements Massage has multiple locations
Cost: Starting at $74 for a 70-minute session
P.S. Have you ever heard of a sensory garden?
BY: YELENA SAPIN