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Two Experiments on the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Touching-Effect of Touching on the HPA Axis-Related Parts of the Body on Both Healthy and Traumatized Experiment Participants

1
Graduate School of International Humanities and Social Science, J. F. Oberlin University, 3758 Tokiwa-machi, Machida-shi, Tokyo 194-0294, Japan
2
Graduate School of International Humanities and Social Science, J. F. Oberlin University, Faculty of Health Science Technology, Bunkyo Gakuin University, 1196 Kamekubo, Fujimino-shi, Saitama 356-8533
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100095
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to measure both the psychological and physiological effects of touching on the HPA axis related parts of the body. HPA stands for the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal. One experiment was conducted with a group of healthy experiment participants, and another was with a group of traumatized participants who had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). In the experiments, the back of an experiment participant was touched, where a kidney-adrenal was supposed to reside, and both the psychological and physiological effects were measured. As a result, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an indicator of the parasympathetic nerve system function and, especially, an indicator of the social engagement system increased, by a statistically significant degree, as a consequence of HPA touching in both the healthy and the trauma group, in comparison with the control. The traumatized participants had a lower RSA, and this was increased by HPA touching, accompanied by a decrease of the heart rate. It is worth noting that the social engagement function was possibly enhanced by HPA touching, especially in the trauma group, whose members tend to have difficulty being pro-social. This touching method is very simple, so it can be administered not only by oneself, but also by psycho-therapists and body workers in order to enhance both psychological and physiological well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: touching; RSA; HPA axis; ACE; PTSD; Somatic Experiencing™ touching; RSA; HPA axis; ACE; PTSD; Somatic Experiencing™
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Yachi, C.T.; Hitomi, T.; Yamaguchi, H. Two Experiments on the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Touching-Effect of Touching on the HPA Axis-Related Parts of the Body on Both Healthy and Traumatized Experiment Participants. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 95.

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