Compassionate Touch And Cuddle Therapy

Holistic Hugs is a Compassionate Touch And Cuddle Therapy service. 
This is heart-centred work.
Using Compassionate Touch And Cuddle Therapy we create an opportunity to experience connection and closeness without being sexually intimate working within boundaries and consent.
With this comes many benefits. When we experience consensual, physical touch our body chemistry changes. The infusion of oxytocin – a neurochemical and bonding hormone has remarkable physical and psychological benefits. It can improve heart health, decreases stress hormones, reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, can help reduce depression and help us to feel less alone.
Cuddling is a most beautiful form of communication and can deepen relationships with ourselves and others.
It can be a deeply healing and transformative experience.
People who might benefit from Compassionate Touch and Cuddle Therapy may be experiencing  but not limited to those situations as listed below:
  • PTSD
  • Experienced abuse or trauma of any kind
  • Grief or loss
  • Depression
  • A medical condition which culminates in a lack of sincere, platonic touch such as MND.
  • Loneliness
  • Too busy to nourish their own well-being.
  • Experiencing a lack of platonic touch in their personal lives
  • High levels of stress and anxiety
  • Postpartum (post-birth) – new mums need cuddles too
  • The simple need for the closeness of another human being
  • A terminal diagnosis or end of life care

Each cuddle session is specifically tailored to the requirements of you – the client.

Compassionate, nurturing touch can bring up many emotions and it’s perfectly natural and OK to cry during cuddle therapy. No judgements and no expectations. Just holding you in a safe space.

For remote support I offer online compassionate touch and connection support which began during lockdown in 2020 and has been so overwhelming successful that the sessions are now a permanent offering so, wherever you are in the world, you can access my service. These sessions are facilitated via video link (the camera can be switched off during the main part of the session if you wish) and I have 3 offerings as detailed on the FAQs page.

For in-person support I facilitate from Heartfelt Ways in Huddersfield, The Therapy Rooms – Saddleworth in Greater Manchester, Cocoon in Holmfirth, Hebden Therapy Centre in Hebden Bridge, We Are Wellness in Leeds and Huddersfield Holistic Healing based in Marsden. Oh, and Hull! Quite a choice don’t you think.

Below are photos of the wonderful space used at Heartfelt Ways in Huddersfield.

In the warmer months I also offer sessions called “Twos Company” where I bring my work outside into nature.
These sessions offer the opportunity of a shared walk and quality time together.
Nature is my go-to for rest and recuperation – I know how tap into it’s energy and allow it to nourish my soul, body and mind.
Enjoying each other’s company we can take a relaxing walk, find a nice bench to sit or scenic spot to rest.
Bring a flask or a cool, non-alcoholic drink and we can chat or simply enjoy the views of nature or people watching if in a park.
Alternatively, bring a book and we can stop and read together.
The perfect opportunity for holding hands or walking arm in arm and a gentle introduction to closeness.

Please note – in the above venues the space utilised is the floor – there is no bed. There are blankets, a mat and cushions for comfort and I can organise a chair each if required.

This short video explains Cuddle Therapy beautifully.

As well as my individualised cuddle sessions I also offer specialised sessions and programs that I have developed through years of experience and research, reflect who I am and bring together all of the skills from my other modalities.
  1. Hand Hugs.

This session provides an opportunity for us to explore and experience touch completely focused on the hands and lower arms.  Giving and receiving touch.

The fingertips alone hold more than 3000 touch receptors!

 2. Nourishing The Soul.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or panic disorders this program will gently ease you into a safe space – a place of sanctuary.
We will go through a series of 6  sessions in 6 consecutive days (the 6 days can be extended upon request).

Each session will be on a one to one basis.
It will be a nurturing experience like no other where you will experience kindness, gentle, consensual touch and be held just as you are.
Unlike formal therapy there will be space to just chat or nourish yourself in the silence yet comfort of another’s company.
You will be made to feel safe, not scrutinised.
The session will be free from judgement, expectations and advice. Just listening ears, a friendly face and a warm embrace.
Most importantly it will bring a deep human connection that can be lacking in traditional counselling.
All of my sessions are gender inclusive.

         3. Overcoming Touch Aversion.
This program is for anyone who has an aversion to touch and cuddling possibly triggered by past experiences and who feels a yearning to work through this.

Sessions are one to one.
We will go through a series of 6 short sessions over 6 weeks with a very gentle introduction to closeness and building on the experience at the speed determined by the client.
We will look at boundaries and consent and I will ensure you feel safe at all times taking as many breaks as is needed.
The 6 weeks program can be extended at the request of the client. The 6 weeks is not a time limit for when you should feel comfortable with touch but a gentle introduction for you to build on.

       4. Hospice Hugs.

This service is for providing gentle, nurturing touch to people admitted to hospice, palliative care or with their end of life care at home.
As an End of Life Doula I’m acutely aware of the importance of touch through the dying process. This will be very much working alongside family and friends demonstrating and giving confidence to them on how to use a gentle, conscious touch with their loved one to support, comfort and relax.
I am also available to provide that need for touch when family and friends can’t be there.
Our touch needs don’t diminish when a life-shortening diagnosis is received or during the active dying stage and it can be a powerful way to communicate love when consciousness diminishes.
My aim is to provide touch with presence, compassion and tenderness whilst being mindful of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs that are present in end of life care.
This is offered on a “pay as you feel” rate so will be inclusive for everyone to access and I am available for this service the moment a terminal or life-shortening diagnosis is received.

  5. Cuddle and Connection Retreat. 

This retreat is for clients who have already attended a minimum of 2 in-person sessions with me.

The venue is in beautiful Galloway.

On this retreat we will explore connection through activities and exercises.

And, as well as compassionate touch, there will be meditation and free time for you to just be and explore the local area. If you wish there might even be an opportunity to practice yoga with the resident yoga teacher and take a guided walk with the resident hiker who is also a member of the local mountain rescue.

If you feel a calling to any of these programs please get in touch for an informal chat or email if you’re more comfortable with that.

Compassionate Touch and Cuddle Therapy is NOT a counselling, massage, sexual, or dating service and is not a substitute for professional medical advice but is a powerful, natural, complementary form of self-care. It is not suitable for everyone and if you have a pre-existing medical condition please consult your gp before coming along to a session.

For more information please take a look at the FAQs page.

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“Hugging is the most beautiful form of communication that allows the other person to know beyond a doubt that they matter.” – Rebecca Fox.