Women's Health Australia - - BEAUTY & STYLE -

Sure, it’s re­lax­ing. But nu­mer­ous stud­ies have found the sense of touch to be crit­i­cal for boost­ing im­mu­nity, man­ag­ing anx­i­ety and re­duc­ing lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol. So when you ap­ply your mois­turiser, don’t just slap it on – take a mo­ment to work it in.

“Re­search shows that oxy­tocin is re­leased by gen­tle, con­scious touch from an­other or one­self,” ex­plains chi­ro­prac­tor and move­ment spe­cial­ist Dr Ge­orge Rus­sell. “Some re­searchers call it the ‘bliss hor­mone’; I call it the ‘eat, pray, love’ hor­mone, be­cause it gives a feel­ing of gen­eros­ity, con­tent­ment and con­nect­ed­ness. And the more you feel your own body, the more se­cure, con­fi­dent and re­spon­sive you’ll be.”

It doesn’t have to be a 60-minute mas­sage either – a few min­utes a day of pos­i­tive touch reaps se­ri­ous ben­e­fits.

Start­ing at the feet, work a body oil into skin with both hands. Us­ing a cir­cu­lar mo­tion, move from legs to hips to belly into the chest, arms and up over the shoul­ders.

“There’s some­thing very pow­er­ful in nur­tur­ing your­self in that way,” says Ker­ri­lynn Pamer, co-owner of spa and boutique

Cap Beauty in New York. “Skin­care is like lin­gerie: maybe not every­body sees it, but you know what it feels like.”

The Body Shop Cac­tus Brush, $19 Clar­ins Re­lax Bath & Shower Con­cen­trate, $42 L’oc­c­i­tane La­vande Foam­ing Bath, $43

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