Skin hunger and skin companions: why we crave touch now more than ever

Skin hunger and skin companions: why we crave touch now more than ever
We don’t know what we’re really missing until we can’t reach it anymore. Now that we are all asked to keep our distance from each other so as not to infect each other with the Coronavirus, we find out what that means for us. We work at home voluntarily or not and after two weeks we get used to it (a bit).

Fortunately, the sun is shining and we can go outside. Just not to visit our loved ones. Those newly grown daughters who suddenly live so far away (in the south of the country and the south of Europe), that grandma-to-be who can’t be there now for her pregnant daughter. We can no longer visit grandpa and grandma and wave to each other, separated by a window or a screen, which is something very different from snuggling on their lap and cuddling.

Skin mates

What we miss now more than ever is our closeness, our warmth, our ability to touch by touching each other. It can do you so much good to feel a hand on your arm when you are having a hard time. A small gesture can give so much support. It’s very nice to have inmates, people who are close and with whom you can share touches.

Skin hunger and skin companions: why we crave touch now more than ever
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A hug, a kiss, a pat. A nice touch gives you the feeling that everything will be okay again. Touch is comforting and right now, in times of tension and unrest, so many people have to do without. Singles can no longer date and your long-distance relationship is further away than ever. Two arm’s lengths have become unbridgeable distances.

Skin hunger

One of the authors of the recently published book Skin Hunger , Gabriele Mariell Kiebgis, told me about the impact on her work. She is a massage therapist and she knows better than anyone how to help people relax. But suddenly it has become impossible to carry out her work. The lack of contact and closeness can cause tension, stress, fear and panic. She developed a special psychoactive massage technique to relieve these feelings, but feels powerless now that she can no longer give these massages.

She receives a lot of messages from people who are voluntarily or not locked up in their home due to the Corona virus. For many people it gives great tension, stress, panic and anxiety. She herself is still trying to comprehend what is happening around her. She hopes her co-author Professor Dr. Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen stays healthy. Due to his advanced age, he belongs to the risk group.

Message from Gabriele Mariell Kiebgis

Skin hunger and skin companions: why we crave touch now more than ever

“Every morning when I wake up, I’m glad I’m healthy. When worries or even fears come to me, I look at them and decide to shape my day by drawing on my inner well of creativity, faith in life, hope, humility and gratitude, compassion, and love. Now that we are still allowed out, for shopping and walking (maximum 2 people or families), I make use of nature, which unfolds in its beauty every year. What a miracle! I am grateful that this vision lives in me, to see it and to look at my resources, and what I can now do for myself and others to satisfy our skin hunger.

Bruno and I could not have imagined that the message of our book Hunger for Skin would become so urgent. We also realize more than ever before that touch is a basic necessity of life! We will not relinquish the power of touch. We will protect, preserve and guide it safely through this crisis. Then we pass it on again to heal our wounds.’


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