As the old cliché goes, humans are social animals and we need physical contact. Unless you are a germaphone or a haphephobe, everyone loves the warm fuzzy feeling of a hug, a sympathetic hand squeeze or a laudatory pat on the back. It also helps us make meaningful connections with another person. Apart from making you feel wanted and loved, human touch can also do your health a lot of good. These are some of the ways touch heals.
It can benefit people living with cancers: Healing touch is an alternative form of therapy where the practioner uses his or her hands to soothe an illness. Studies have shown that touch yields positive results in cancer patients, improving their overall well-being. 
It helps in child development: Living beings need sensory stimulation for normal development. Studies have shown that orphaned children deprived of touch and sensory stimulation exhibits developmental disorders like impaired growth and cognition.
It can soothe pain: When in pain, we instinctively seek a loved one's touch. Imagine the comfort of your mom's cool fingertips against your temples when you have migraine. This shouldn't come as a surprise but a therapeutic touch can be helpful in reducing the intensity of pain.
It can reduce depressive symptoms: Physical pain is not the only pain that touch heals. Research has shown that touch therapy can positively impact depressive symptoms, reducing the intensity of your mental pain. An article in the British Journal of Theatre Nursing said that four hugs a day soothed depression, eight hugs helped achieve mental stability and twelve hugs aided psychological development.
It can help you sleep better: Remember being gently patted to sleep by your mother? The soft, intermittent rhythm of the patting combined with a loved one's touch can lull you into a deep, comfortable sleep.
It is good for your heart: Anybody who says marriage is stressful should read this. A study says that an affectionate partner's loving touch can also improve your cardiovascular health by reducing stress levels.
It boosts your immune system: Tired of missing work due to illnesses? You need the magic of human touch, especially massages. Studies say that massage-like strokes help improve the immune system, decreasing instances of infections and illnesses.
It reduces cortisol: Cortisol, the stress hormones released by the adrenal glands during moments of duress, can be bad for your health in the long run. Human touch like a warm hug can decrease cortisol levels and bring down instances of problems like slow wound healing, depression, weight gain, blood pressure and heart diseases.
It helps build trust and love: Touch is an important factor that helps build interpersonal relationships and fosters trust between individuals. The neurochemical oxytocin is released when people hug, touch or shake hands. This can improve personal dynamics and establish a strong bond between people.