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Comfort, Closeness and Solace


The lounge at the airport was crowded and grew moreso as the time for departure arrived. A small space on a bench seat next to me opened up and a husband and wife sat next to a friend traveling with me. My friend wasn't feeling very well. It had been a not-too-pleasant trip to California and we were both eager to get back to the comfort of our homes.

Suddenly, the Hispanic woman, seated with her husband next to my friend, moved closer, although there didn't seem to be a need


to do so. The man, noticing my look of consternation, said in a pleasant voice, "My wife knows your friend isn't feeling well and she wants to comfort her. The closeness will help. She's sharing her energy." Looking into the medical literature you may not find this remedy from strangers for illness, but it was such a touching gesture that we couldn't help but be grateful.

Both of us thanked the couple, waited for the plane and experienced a bit of unexpected companionship with them. Asking some friends later, we learned that what the woman had done was an accepted way of helping to heal with comforting contact. Yes, medical professionals have been using this for years, but where did they get the idea of "therapeutic touch?" I suppose it's one of those "old wive's tales" that have been found to have some basis in fact after all.

Strangers can help us in many ways. Consider this next instance of a chance interaction. I was in a supermarket parking lot and, as I


looked down, a penny was at my feet. A woman, passing by, encouraged me to pick it up. "It means someone who has passed is sending a message of love to you."

What a wonderful way to think of errant spare change on the ground. Have you ever thought of it that way? Helps to turn things around like that, doesn't it? Now, each time I see a coin on the ground, I smile broadly because I know someone I love dearly, and who has passed, is sending a message of encouragement and love to me. Yeah, I can go for that.

Sometimes, we have to toss scientific validation aside and just believe. Not everything can be quantified scientifically and that's okay because we're still learning, so who knows what we'll find in the future?

Every interaction we have can be something more than just a chance meeting. It may be an opportunity to see things in a much more positive and brighter light than before. Found change? Now it's found love from another dimension and whether it's true or not, who cares? It's love and that's what counts.

#therapeutictouch #physicaltouch #strangers

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DR. PATRICIA A. FARRELL