Most of us aren’t being touched enough. In her book Touch (2001), Tiffany Field argued that many societies, ours among them, are dangerously touch-deprived, leading to an epidemic of what she referred to as “touch hunger.”

When’s the last time someone touched you, other than maybe a handshake?

Touch is one of those things that we don’t usually think or talk about very much, especially not in the U.S. where personal space is highly valued. But I think we should.

Research suggests that touching increases good health and longevity. In our intimate relationships, it also boosts levels of oxytocin, which is a key hormone for love, happiness and bonding.

Touch is the first of the senses to develop in babies, and the sense of touch usually persists beyond the other senses. So its importance extends throughout our life span.

Despite these extensive benefits, it seems many of us are touch-deprived.

I’m one of the lucky ones.

My husband Ed and I wrap ourselves into each other’s arms beginning sometime around 3:00 or 4:00 every morning and remain intertwined until the alarm awakens us at 7:30. We call it the “skin thing” that our bodies do when we lie like that together: It’s difficult for us to sense the place where the surface of one body begins and the other ends.

I’m an essayist. I write about personal experiences that are or have been significant in my life, especially if I believe they may positively influence my readers’ lives.

You’d think I’d write more about our “skin thing.” But I can’t. There are no words. For us, the “skin thing” bypasses any cognitive description or categorization and lands directly in the heart center.

How blessed I am.

Are you getting enough touch?