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Have any of you ever heard of Baby Fingers?

That’s the nickname given to Patrice Rushen, a musician, composer, record producer, music director and educator known for her small hands. Those tiny fingers make powerful music.

If you’ve ever heard her play the piano, in which she was classically trained, you would understand. The way she touches those keys create the music that soothes many hearts and souls. Her fingers grace the basswood (ivory is no longer used) of the baby grand the same way the hands and fingers of a massage therapist or a Reiki master heal the minds and bodies of their clients.

When I think about hands, their beauty, their grace, their gifts and their power, I'm amazed at their intelligence. I'm in awe of them and their capabilities. Something as simple as a touch can cause one to visualize themselves in a peaceful vacation spot or imagine the fragrance of their favorite flower.

We don’t have to be professional massage therapists or Reiki masters to influence our lovers with a gentle touch, a firm caress or a lingering stroke. This type of physical connection is a form of expression that is necessary in every relationship to increase the feelings of connectedness with the one with whom we are sharing our lives.

I tell my clients so often that one way to defuse an unnecessary quarrel is to stop talking and simply touch their partner. They are always amazed at the positive results. Many times in a relationship, someone begins feeling resentful because one of their human needs is not being met. They are not feeling certain or significant. Perhaps they are not feeing loved, or the connection seems to be lost.

The easiest to remedy this (if the problem has not been growing over time) is a heartfelt touch. Initially, words need not be uttered. The touch alone will convey a message that will help to defuse a problem and offer the space to calmly and lovingly discuss the issues that need to be addressed.

If you are not accustomed to touching your partner regularly, why not begin creating the habit today. Touch is powerful, as it is soothing, medicinal and it can lead into sexual play.

1. When standing near him/her stroke their arm or their back.

2. Ask your partner where they enjoy being touched while relaxing together.

3. Foot rubs and back rubs are good tension releasers.

4. Touch your partner’s hands and shoulders.

Give these tips a try and let me know if you found them helpful.

Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.

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