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It [touch] is not just correlated with being human—it is being human. Kupers is allowed to shake prisoners' hands when examining them in the state of Mississippi, where he often testifies. Aside from that, nobody has touched me in all the years I've been in solitary confinement.

He describes the psychiatric literature showing that solitary confinement causes lasting mental health problems as "voluminous. The testimony of prisoners such Peter Collins and Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning highlights how an absence of touch exacerbates the experience of solitary confinement: Writing in the Guardian , Chelsea Manning describes it as "'no-touch' torture. Besides prisoners in solitary confinement, there is another demographic that illustrates the debilitating effects of skin hunger: the elderly.

The Life of the Skin-Hungry: Can You Go Crazy from a Lack Of Touch?

Being extremely lonely can amount to a chronic medical condition, and it's one that is more likely to surface in later life as friends and family members die off. One study found that lonely people aged 50 and over were twice as likely to die as their non-lonely peers. In comments reported in USA Today , psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser argues that the elderly need prolonged physical contact more than younger generations: "The older you are, the more fragile you are physically, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health.

Research shows that people in Western societies overwhelmingly feel lonelier. According to the National Science Foundation's General Social Study, a quarter of Americans feel they have no one they can talk to about their problems. One study from British relationship charity Relate finds almost ten percent of people have no close friendships at all, and 20 percent of those in relationships rarely feel "loved. Conventional wisdom holds that technology is turning us into maladroit loners, even if it should, in theory, make us more connected.

If you took a paper and pencil and stencilled the outline of the average person's online presence—like a modern day Vitruvian man—you could sketch out a web of stretching connections, too numerous to count. Millions of fibre optic cables connect us to our social networks: friends, followers, email acquaintances, even lurkers.

So why do we feel more isolated than ever before?

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Could it have something to do with the fact that none of these connections involve human touch? Having studied affection for nearly two decades, however, Floyd believes verbal or written communication is no substitute for physical touch. And there are certain health benefits that seem to be more pronounced when affection is expressed through tactile ways. Like a pair of binoculars flipped the wrong way, the Internet can have the effect of making us closer together or further apart—depending on how you look at it.

No movement illustrates this more powerfully than the Free Hugs initiative, which began in June Most of us have seen someone at a music festival wandering around with a "Free Hugs" sign before, but few realize one individual—a Sydney resident who goes by the pseudonym Juan Mann—was behind it.

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No-one hugged me or socialized with me," he explains over email. For the first time in months I felt alive. It got me thinking about all the other lonely people out there in the world who might need or want a hug. A musician by the name of Shimon Moore spotted Mann handing out hugs in a Sydney mall and thought it was a neat idea.

He returned to the mall and filmed Mann, eventually using the footage for his band's music video. The video went viral it currently has 77 million views and Mann's project became known all over the world, much to his surprise. Not in this lifetime or the next," Mann tells me. What's really fascinating is that scientists think parental affection can actually protect individuals against the harmful effects of childhood stress.

Then in , a study out of the University of Notre Dame showed that children who receive affection from their parents were happier as adults. More than adults were surveyed about how they were raised, including how much physical affection they had. The adults who reported receiving more affection in childhood displayed less depression and anxiety and were more compassionate overall. Those who reported less affection struggled with mental health, tended to be more upset in social situations, and were less able to relate to other people's perspectives.

This special interaction between mother and baby, in particular, helps calm babies so they cry less and sleep more. It has also been shown to boost brain development. According to an article in Scientific American , children who lived in a deprived environment like an orphanage had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who lived with their parents. Scientists believe that the lack of physical contact in the orphanages is a major factor in these physical changes. Finally, numerous studies on the effects of massage show the positive benefits it offers to reduce anxiety in children.

Massage is also a good way for parents to connect to their children, both physically and emotionally. Starting in infancy, a parent can begin to massage their child , which can create a strong bond. Studies have shown children and adults who receive massage experience less anxiety during academic stress, hospital stays, and other stressful events.

Do fun activities like dancing together or creating silly games like pretending to be a hugging or kissing monster. In the recent Trolls movie, the trolls wore watches with alarm clocks that would go off every hour for hug time. If that's what it takes, then set yourself an alarm. Or make sure to give your kids a hug during certain times of the day, such as before they leave for school, when they get home from school, and before bedtime. As you talk to them about what they did wrong, put your hand on their shoulder and give them a hug at the end of the conversation to ensure them that, even if you are not pleased with their behavior, you still love them.

If your children hit their sister or brother, hug them and explain how hugging feels better than hitting. Finally, be careful not to go overboard and smother your kids. Respect their individual comfort level, and be aware that this will change as they go through different stages. Freelance writer, blogger , and editor specializing in parenting, wellness, environmental issues, and human behavior.

I enjoy analyzing everyday life using science, humor, and a passion to improve the world. I am also an expert in simplifying science to educate others on challenging topics that affect our lives. Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats.

But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead. There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month , happening now through September 30 at Walmart.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you and hook you up with a sweet perk, too. Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www. From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood.

Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher. When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster.

Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look. Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs.

The Life of the Skin-Hungry: Can You Go Crazy from a Lack Of Touch? - VICE

To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise. Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds!

This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full because chances are they will be. We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

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The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology.

In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him. This article was sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas. If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school , there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara.

When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

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My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long.

I was sold. Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried. For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats. We love the lash love, lunaamongthestars! The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work.

Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions which are my new go-to since having baby number two , but I'm sure it will hold up nicely. Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for.

While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama. Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride. Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding.

And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote. Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed. And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen.

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We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging , only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are. One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls.

My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at pm my handsome baby boy was born.