The phrase “Reach Out and Touch Someone” was a clever and highly successful advertising slogan originally designed to encourage people to use long distance phone service to do just that. Its long-running success has been attributed to the way the ads effectively spoke to the emotional and “heart” connection that comes from talking to and sharing your feelings with someone you love or care about.
This advertising campaign was so effective it’s been credited with practically launching long distance phone services. We’ve come a long way since those days. Now, with the advent of email, smart phones, and wireless Internet, the ability to communicate with practically anyone, anywhere, any time, has become almost ubiquitous. So much so that it’s hard not to wonder if the emotional connection that we crave and the positive feelings it normally generates are still possible with this type of frenetic and short-hand communication.
Picking up the phone and calling someone you love on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day makes perfect sense if they live far away or you’re not able to see them in person. But this year for Valentine’s Day, why not reach out and touch someone for real? Whether you celebrate this occasion with a romantic partner or by connecting with other people you love, the gift of touch can have a far more profound effect then the simple gesture of a phone call.
Studies in brain science show that touch is good medicine for both the body and the brain. Even the simple act of holding hands can significantly relieve stress and anxiety. The best news of all … the far-reaching positive effects of touch are not strictly limited to romantic gestures or even therapeutic massage. Many sensory experiences involving touch –caressing a baby, petting a cat or dog, or even receiving a handshake from someone– all positively affect your physiological well-being leaving you better equipped to manage stress which in turn, boosts your immune system.
Here’s why … your skin represents the body’s largest sense organ. Your body is wrapped in approximately eighteen square feet of it! Even a tiny cross-section the size of a coin reveals several million cells, up to 100 sweat glands, 50 nerve endings and three feet of blood vessels. The human hand contains a staggering 100,000 nerves of at least 20 different types, while each fingertip contains more than 3000 nerve receptors. Together they interpret various touch sensations, and report to the brain on joint and muscle activity, pressure, temperature, vibration, and pain.
So you see, your magnificent skin acts like the eyes and ears of your brain –faithfully receiving commands and returning messages from the outside world. With the amazing power of touch, you literally have at your fingertips a variety of ways to offer gifts of love to those you care about. Here are some simple ideas for gifts of touch you can offer on Valentine’s Day:
Give the gift of a Massage. If you don’t have a lot of time then you can give a gift certificate or card for a one-hour (or 55 minute) massage. If you have a massage therapist then send them to yours. If not, ask people you know for referrals or contact a local spa. If you don’t have the funds, or prefer to give a gift of a more personal nature, then offer to give them a massage yourself. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or professional. You can give them a simple neck and shoulder massage, a hand massage, or better yet, a foot massage. Applying gentle pressure to tight muscles always provides relief.
Incorporate a little aromatherapy into the massage by adding a few drops of essential oil (like lavender or orange to relax, rosemary, lemon or grapefruit to stimulate) to a tablespoon of carrier oil (olive, jojoba, safflower, sesame or almond). Or use our Certified Organic Aromatherapy Body Oil, which comes with the essential oils already blended in. Just be sure to use scents that you know the person likes. If you’re not sure then ask beforehand.
For a romantic couples massage, try a blend that includes sensual or earthy essential oils like ylang ylang, patchouli, vetiver, lime, lemongrass, bergamot or other citrus fruit, rose or rose geranium, cedarwood, sandalwood, or vanilla.
Give the gift of a Mani-Pedi. Another lovely, pampering gift of touch is a manicure or pedicure (or both!). Again, if you don’t have time to do it yourself give them a gift certificate to a salon or spa but make sure it includes a generous amount of massage!
Giving a manicure or pedicure is an opportunity to literally reach out and touch someone. Even better is to give each other manicures and pedicures. Take the lead by inviting your friend or loved one over for a pampering home spa treatment, or pick up all the accessories you need and bring the spa treatment to them. This is also an excellent way for couples to connect and bond.
Try our Hand & Foot Care Gift Set. It contains a nail or foot brush to clean the nails and get into those hard to reach places, a bag of aromatherapy bath salts, a small bottle of aromatherapy body oil that can be mixed with a handful of the bath salt to make an exfoliating nail and cuticle scrub, a small bottle of aromatherapy liquid soap to rinse off when you’re done grooming, and a small bottle of aromatherapy lotion to moisturize your hands and feet. Available in 5 different aromatherapy blends, you can pick one you know you will both enjoy. And avoid the toxic nail polish! Use a nail buffing kit instead for a natural gloss that looks like it was painted on.
Give the gift of a Facial or Scalp Treatment. Just think about the pleasure you derive from getting your hair shampooed at a salon before a haircut or getting your face gently massaged as part of a facial. Give that special someone a gift certificate to a spa or salon, or offer to do this yourself.
Have them sit in a chair or lie on a couch, recliner, or chaise long. Use a pillow or bolster wrapped in a towel to support their neck. Keep a basin with warm water nearby for rinsing and another one with a pot of boiling water at the ready for steaming.
Start with a gentle plant-based creamy cleanser or virgin coconut oil to remove surface dirt or makeup. Gently apply to the face with your hands then wipe off with a soft towel or bath sponge dipped in the warm water. Next apply a gentle exfoliating scrub (one made with brown sugar will give the best results) then wipe off with a textured loofah or ramie bath mitt.
After exfoliation, fill the basin with boiling water and add a few drops (5 or so) of essential oil like lavender, juniper, geranium, cedarwood or rosemary. Have them sit up then place a towel over their head and have them lean over the basin for 3-5 minutes to let the steam penetrate and open pores.
Follow this with a splash of cool water or a spritz of hydrosol. Try one of our Aromatic Mister Sprays chilled in the refrigerator beforehand! Finish with a gentle moisturizer like our Aromatherapy Hand & Body Lotion or hydrating and moisturizing oil like our Certified Organic Body Oil that you massage into the face and neck. With each application, use circular motions and apply gentle pressure to the jaw area, which tends to hold a lot of tension.
Any of these gifts will surely be received with much gratitude and when done together, will provide a truly memorable experience.