People generally think of grandmas as people who GIVE cuddles! And they certainly don’t receive cuddles from strangers! But what if they did?
After all, many older adults are touch-deprived. This is incredibly unfortunate. Many studies show that platonic touch can help provide some relief of symptoms for many diseases that afflict the elderly — diseases such as strokes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says, “Massages were given routinely in nursing homes to prevent bedsores in the 1950s, but they fell out of favor when the ‘massage parlor reputation’ surfaced. It’s only slowly coming back into hospital care, even though there’s a huge body of research accumulating on its role in reducing pain.”
Could cuddling help the older adult population?
Recently, I had a chance to cuddle a woman who describes herself as “a shy 63-year-old grandma from Ann Arbor.” Here’s what she had to say about our cuddle session, in her own words:
I first heard about cuddling from some Facebook posts by a friend. It sounded intriguing, but also weird. The idea of paying someone to cuddle me seemed absurd.
I do absolutely believe in the power of touch and its affirmation to beings, and have been a “feeler” all my life. I wanted to experience cuddling because I am mainly a giver, and the avenues to receive are fewer now in my life. This seemed to be a wonderful opportunity.
Andi cuddled me in several positions such as “spooning” and “the mama bear,” as well as gave me a hand and foot massage. The process was completely one sided — she touched and I accepted.
I recollected a time when I was 5 or 6, lying on a couch, with my head in my mother’s lap. She stroked my hair, cheeks, and arms while she chatted with friends of the family in our living room. It was bliss; it was love; it was acceptance.
That is how I felt during my cuddle — unconditional accceptance, appreciation and maybe love. I gave myself to the experience and when we finished I felt surprisingly refreshed.
Do you have a loved one who could benefit from professional cuddling? Visit Schedule a Cuddle Session to book me or find out how you can find a Cuddlist near you.