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The Healing Touch of People (And Adorable Robots)
I thought of this when I read this article about helping the Japanese people to heal, one year after the tsunami destroyed so many people's homes and killed 19,000 people. According to the New York Daily News, "furry, robotic seals that respond to human touch are being used in Japan to treat depression among survivors of last year’s tsunami disaster. 'Paro' is being offered to people made homeless by the disaster and is offering a much-needed bit of affection with his burbling noises and the appreciative flapping of fins when he comes into contact with people."
How fascinating that just touching something can have such healing powers. For people living in temporary housing in Kesennuma, an area badly hit by the tsunami, the trauma of last spring's storm is still a very present part of everyday reality, and as one woman told the Daily News, "Many of my neighbours don't want to have new pets because they don't want to remember." Enter the adorable robots.
But you don't have to recovering from a life-shattering trauma to experiment with non-traditional healing. We all have days pocked with small-scale wounds—the unsettled aftermath of a friend's unkind words, the lingering adrenaline from a near-fender-bender. Whatever your hurt, try a touch—hugging a friend, stroking a foster kitty, cozying up to an animatronic seal should you find yourself near one—and see, er feel, what happens next.
The Power of Therapeutic Touch
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