As well as getting your needs for touch and cuddles met these sessions offer an opportunity for richer connection.
A connection of souls and hearts.
A connection to your deepest emotions.
It is a space to feel seen and heard.
A space to be totally present.
A space of acceptance and compassion.
This is so much more than just a physical experience.
Humanity has suffered so much over the past few months.
Many have felt disconnected, isolated, alone.
We have much work to do to rebuild trust in touch and connection.
It starts here.
A question that often pops up when I’m chatting to people about cuddle therapy is “Are there more male or female clients?”
This is purely my experience and may be different for other professional cuddlers around the world.
On average I find 9 out of 10 of the people contacting me about cuddle therapy are men (although I have seen an increase of women getting in touch since lock down).
Out of these men
1 out of 10 are members of the emergency services.
1 out of 10 are health professionals.
2 out of 10 are in the teaching profession
(the above 3 are all highly stressful working environments).
50% are married.
So, let”s look at some statistics for men.
Just over 3 out of 4 suicides in the UK (78%) are men.
12.5% of men in the UK are experiencing one of the common mental health conditions.
191 000 men a year report work related stress, depression or anxiety as opposed to women at 261 000 who are more likely to acknowledge and report these.
73% of adults who go missing in the UK are men.
87% of rough sleepers in the UK are men.
Men are statistically more likely to become alcohol dependent and use illegal drugs.
Men have measurably lower access to the social support of friends, relatives and community than women.
Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women or admit to having mental health difficulties so this directly affects figures on men accessing professional support.
Right from childhood the male of our species are sent messages both verbal
“Boys/real men don’t cry.”
“Don’t be a wuss/sissy/nancy boy/snowflake.”
and non-verbal –
hugged far less
the touch they receive is often far more boisterous and less tender than females and this directly impacts them for the rest of their lives.
We are all designed for connection – both men and women.
Of course, people seek out my touch and cuddle therapy for many reasons including consoling through grief, support through mental health challenges including PTSD, teaching about boundaries and consent or allowing them to experience the warmth of a hug or touch that they have been deprived of for so long.
Many men who seek out my services are simply looking for connection. A deeper connection than what they are afforded in their current relationships with family and friends. They are searching for that intimacy – not of the sexual kind but of being seen and heard. They are looking for a way to be held in all that they are. They are wanting to be held whilst being authentic to their own emotions without fear of judgement or criticism or unwanted advice, a way to get in touch with their own emotions.
To appease their feelings of disconnection.
It is not always an easy job to do although you may think that sharing a hug or holding a hand for an hour or two is a breeze…but it is a beautiful job. The trust it takes between both participants. The vulnerability that can be felt.
For all you parents out there – it is time to assign those above phrases so often said to children (and even adult men) to history.
For all of you men out there I want to tell you that you are worthy.
Worthy of accessing professional mental health support, of crying, of wanting to experience more tenderness and intimacy and to want to be held in a warm, maternal embrace (which, by the way, you can also get from a man).
Worthy of contentment, peace and joy.
Worthy of life.
You are worthy.
You are worthy.
You are worthy.
Here’s a little gift for all of you out there who are missing the hugs of a loved one you can’t currently be with due to lockdown or bereavement or, perhaps, you’re missing the closeness of human connection and find yourself struggling mentally and emotionally.
I hope you find this 14 minute meditation valuable.
You folks know how much I love hugs so I couldn’t resist making this one.
Although nothing can fully replace a real compassionate hug this might go a little way to alleviating any feelings of being deprived of touch or hugs right now.
If you find this meditation and my work valuable and you’re in a financial position to do so you may wish to make a heart-based donation.
Nancy – Meditation Teacher, End of Life Doula, Laughter Yoga Teacher, Compassionate Touch and Cuddle Practitioner.
When trying to get to grips with the practical issues of offering my services as a touch and cuddle therapist online what is evident is that, during an in-person session, I’m not just embracing clients in the physical sense but also emotionally, socially, psychologically and spiritually too.
This work requires me to “turn towards” suffering and to be absolutely present in body and mind.
This enables clients to feel safe, to be authentic with their own emotions, to prioritise their emotions and that need for connection and presence that isn’t being met.
And to feel accepted just as they are.
It’s an opportunity for them to slow down and experience a deeper moment – a moment where no-one is trying to heal them, fix them, change them.
It seems that as I bear witness to what is there for them in that moment it allows them to bear witness to themselves.
I can still do this for you from a distance. It is not the same as the closeness experienced in-person. But nothing right now is quite the same as it was.
There is more than one way to hold someone…….
There are many fall-outs from this current pandemic. The obvious isolation that we’re having to maintain is having a knock-on effect with our mental health and further increasing feelings of loneliness and some front-line workers are experiencing trauma. I’m finding an increasing number of people contacting me for support through connection so I’ve been exploring ways to try to meet your needs.
So, perhaps, you’re wondering how Touch and Cuddle Therapy can support you in a time when we can’t be physically close?
Here are some other ways that I might just help support you:
- I am offering virtual cuddle sessions via video-link (the camera can be switched off during the main part of the session if you feel self-conscious). As a trained meditation teacher the session will run as a visualisation. These sessions will run for 20 minutes up to an hour dependant on your needs.
- We can also connect in a way that is deeper than words can fulfil with an online eye gazing hug. The first few seconds can sometimes feel the most awkward but as the seconds tick by it’s easier to connect with anothers heart and simply appreciate that beautiful, united moment. Some questions you might want answering: Can I blink?
Of course! It’s not a staring competition.
Can I look away?
Yes, anytime you feel the need to avert your gaze you are welcome to do so.
What if I burst out laughing or cry?
Whatever arises for you is fine. We can support each other just by being present with each other. No words necessary.
How long will we eye hug for?
For as long as we are comfortable to do so whether that’s 2 seconds, 2 minutes or 20 minutes.
The only thing I would suggest is that you approach it with no expectations. Be open to whatever the experience is.
And, if you’re into meditation, it’s a beautiful form of meditation too.
- I can guide you through a beautiful exercise in self-soothing. This exercise teaches you how to use touch and reconnect with your own body.
Of course, nothing will beat that physical experience but I can hold you in other ways.
The fee for this new way of working is simple – Pay from Your Heart. I will give you a link when you book for paypal or bank transfer and you are welcome to pay before or after the session. I’ve set it up this way deliberately as I know many may be struggling financially currently as well as mentally and emotionally.
Because this current way of working doesn’t require us to meet in- person I’ve suspended the need for ID checks.
As with all of my sessions you are welcome to stop the session at any time as am I if I feel things are not working well for us.
This is a wonderful way to feel nourished and supported at a time when you may be feeling very vulnerable.
And, if none of these options appeal to you I’m also available for online one-one meditations. We can discuss what your meditation needs are and start from there.
I’m still here for you so do reach out if you need me.