Hi, Dr. Floyd,
I agree with most of your article. And, thank you for writing to teach people how important touch is in their health and overall happiness.
However, from the other articles and studies I have read from many sources, I understand that touch (as in non-sexual consentual touch; ie hugging, cuddling, spooning, etc) that is not in the context of an emotionally intimate relationship also has these same benefits. The benefits may be lessened, but there is still a clear and substantial positive benefit in physical symptoms (stress, heart rate, etc) as well as subjective feelings of well being. This applies to BOTH participants, even when they are not otherwise in a relationship, as long as both participants are participating willingly and enthusiastically. (Obviously, if you aren't into hugging, or don't want to for some reason, it isn't going to help you at that moment.) Some communities have groups that meet JUST to cuddle (they are basically strangers before these groups brought them together.) They very much enjoy all the benefits in your article, with no previous context. As an example, check out meetup.com/touchpositiveoregon as well as their videos on Youtube. Don't downplay the role of touch for touch's sake. There are a lot of people who need to know that just because they don't have someone in their lives right now to love on, doesn't mean they need to go without human connection. Seek and you shall find! If you have questions or would like a resource list, feel free to email me. I would love to help. Namaste! info at embracepositivetouch dot com