Therapeutic Power of Human Touch: Understanding the Mechanism

Exploring the therapeutic effects of human touch from physiological, psychological, and neurological perspectives and the implications of touch deprivation during COVID-19.
Touch cover

Illustration "Human Touch" by Leonardo AI

The Power of Human Touch: A Holistic Approach to Healing

The human touch has been considered a powerful tool for healing and comfort throughout history. In recent years, touch’s physiological and psychological effects have been increasingly researched and acknowledged as a vital component of overall health and well-being. This article explores the mechanism of the human touch and the evolution of body-oriented treatments through physiological and neurological perspectives. It also analyzes the implications of touch deprivation during the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential effects on children’s development.

Physiological and Psychological Effects of Human Touch

Touch is considered the first sense to develop in humans and plays an essential role in our lives, from infancy to adulthood. A growing body of evidence demonstrates the numerous benefits of touch, ranging from reducing stress and anxiety to boosting the immune system and promoting overall well-being.

One of the primary physiological responses to touch is the release of oxytocin, commonly called the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and increases feelings of trust and emotional bonding between individuals (Uvnäs-Moberg, 1998). Additionally, touch has been shown to trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which can help alleviate pain and promote well-being (Field, 2010).

From a psychological perspective, the human touch is crucial in building connections and maintaining relationships. Research has shown that touch can help individuals feel more connected, understood, and supported, improving mental health (Gallace & Spence, 2010). Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that touch can significantly reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness, especially for older adults (Jakubiak & Feeney, 2017).

Neurological Mechanisms of Human Touch

Specialized nerve receptors process the sensation of touch in the skin, which sends signals to the brain via the spinal cord. The human brain interprets these signals and produces an emotional and physiological response.

One of the most significant discoveries in recent years is the identification of C-tactile afferents, a specific type of nerve fiber found in human skin responsible for transmitting the sensation of gentle touch (Olausson et al., 2002). These nerve fibers are thought to be crucial in touch’s emotional and social aspects. They are directly connected to brain areas involved in processing emotions, such as the insular cortex and the posterior superior temporal sulcus (McGlone et al., 2014).

The Evolution of Body-Oriented Treatments

Body-oriented treatments, such as massage therapy, have been practiced for centuries across cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the therapeutic benefits of touch, with numerous studies demonstrating its effectiveness in treating a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Field, 2014).

One influential researcher in this field is Dr. Tiffany Field, the founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Field’s extensive research has led to a greater understanding of the physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying the benefits of touch and the development of evidence-based touch therapies for various populations, including premature infants, children with autism, and individuals with chronic pain (Field, 2014).

The Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing on Human Touch

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in the way we interact with one another. Social distancing measures implemented to slow the spread of the virus have significantly reduced opportunities for physical touch, which could have detrimental effects on mental and physical health.

The lack of human touch during this time may lead to increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, as well as decreased immune function (Jakubiak & Feeney, 2020). Moreover, the long-term effects of touch deprivation on children’s development still need to be fully understood. Still, preliminary research suggests it could significantly affect social and emotional development (Granqvist et al., 2020).

The therapeutic power of human touch is undeniable, and its physiological, psychological, and neurological mechanisms are increasingly being recognized and understood. As we navigate these challenging times, finding alternative ways to maintain connection and support one another is essential while recognizing the potential long-term implications of touch deprivation on our overall well-being.

The Role of Touch in Bioenergy Therapy

Bioenergy therapy is a holistic approach that promotes natural healing by manipulating the human electrome. While bioenergy therapy can be practiced without direct physical touch, incorporating touch into the treatment can enhance its therapeutic effects and offer additional benefits.

Touch can communicate care, empathy, and support, creating a stronger bond and a sense of trust between the practitioner and the patient. This emotional connection can lead to a more profound healing experience. It promotes relaxation and allows the patient to feel more comfortable and open to receiving therapy (Schwartz, 2011).

Moreover, as previously discussed, touch can stimulate the release of oxytocin and endorphins, contributing to overall well-being and relaxation. These physiological responses may enhance the patient’s ability to experience more acceptance, promote body relaxation, and improve the efficacy of the bioenergy therapy session (Field, 2010).

Furthermore, touch can be a grounding tool for the practitioner and the patient during bioenergy therapy. Physical contact can focus and direct the therapy, enabling the practitioner to work more precisely and effectively with the patient’s electrome. Simultaneously, touch can give the patient an objective point of reference, allowing them to remain present and engaged throughout the session (Schwartz, 2011).

In conclusion, while bioenergy therapy can be practiced without direct physical touch, incorporating touch into the treatment can enhance its therapeutic effects by promoting trust, relaxation, and emotional connection between the practitioner and the patient. Additionally, contact can be a grounding tool that enables a more focused and effective bioenergy-therapy process.



Field, T. (2010). Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review. Developmental Review, 30(4), 367-383.
Field, T. (2014). Massage therapy research review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(4), 224-229.
Gallace, A., & Spence, C. (2010). The science of interpersonal touch: An overview. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34(2), 246-259. https://doi.o
Granqvist, P., Sroufe, L. A., Dozier, M., Hesse, E., Steele, M., van Ijzendoorn, M., … & Duschinsky, R. (2020). Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers. Attachment & Human Development, 22(6), 521-542.
Jakubiak, B. K., & Feeney, B. C. (2017). Affectionate touch to promote relational, psychological, and physical well-being in adulthood: A theoretical model and review of the research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(3), 228-252.
Jakubiak, B. K., & Feeney, B. C. (2020). Touch reduces existential fears among individuals with low self-esteem: A pilot study. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(8), 2285-2303.
McGlone, F., Wessberg, J., & Olausson, H. (2014). Discriminative and affective touch: Sensing and feeling. Neuron, 82(4), 737-755.
Olausson, H., Lamarre, Y., Backlund, H., Morin, C., Wallin, B. G., Starck, G., … & Bushnell, M. C. (2002). Unmyelinated tactile afferents signal touch and project to insular cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 5(9), 900-904.
Uvnäs-Moberg, K. (1998). Oxytocin may mediate the benefits of positive social interaction and emotions. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23(8), 819-835.
Schwartz, G. E. (2011)




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by ivan roca


Bioqr™ is bioenergy-assisted immune treatment. A therapist uses his own bio-electromagnetic field to stimulate the patient’s immune system in a nonspecific and specific way. The stimulated immune system responds and “heals” the patient.

Bioqr™ therapy is a bioenergy treatment first developed in Eastern-Europe in the late 1960s as a modern, secular approach to traditional hands-on healing methods with biological and physical reasoning. Later, the method crossed Eastern-Europe to ex-Yugoslavia in the late 1970s’ where it has merged with similar methodologies and has been researched and applied as a complementary medical intervention. The founder of Biotherapy Asia, Ivan Roca, adapted these methodologies and cleared it from the folklore and unnecessary procedures, techniques, and philosophies. Bioqr™ method is a purely medical, highly structured bioenergy system that can be easily applied in a clinical or non-formal environment. The name of the method is Bioqr™ – Human Bioenergy Therapy.

Bioenergy is the energy dynamic observed within living organisms. Also, it is a scientific name that tries to encompass a very broad interdisciplinary area of research into the energy of a living organism. “Bios” is an Ancient Greek word meaning life, and energy is another Ancient Greek word, meaning activity, but here it signifies potential and possibility. Bioenergy has nothing to do with concepts like bioplasma, Chi, Qi, Ki, Prana, Universal energy, Life energy or Orgon.

Yes, with an electromyography device (EMG).

EMG is an electrodiagnostic medicine technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph to produce a record called an electromyogram. An electromyograph detects the electric potential generated by muscle cells when these cells are electrically or neurologically activated.

No. The therapy is successful even if a person does not believe in the biological effect of the immune system stimulation with the human bioenergy field, which is a result of ignorance and a lack of information.

The body response does not depend on our beliefs. It is an automatic and autonomic biological process.

A Bioqr™ therapist uses different hand positions and movements in combination with muscular tension and/or relaxation to stimulate the recipient’s immune system for his/her specific medical condition. Human endogenous bio-electromagnetic radiation interferes with the bioenergy processes of a diseased person to alter the metabolism and cause a body shock response that triggers the immune system activation in a specific and non-specific way.
Every movement has a different energetic signature so that the biotherapist can trigger an immune response in different tissues for different purposes. Immune response due to a “shock” to maintain homeostasis (check danger model of the immune system from Dr. Polly Matzinger), stimulates natural defenses.

A therapist uses muscular tension and relaxation to consciously send bioelectrical signaling (active potentials) of a higher or lower electromagnetic radiation intensity into the area of the hands. Propagation of the action potentials in the nerves and muscles produces a bio-electromagnetic field that radiates outside of the human body.

All the ‘manipulation’ processes occur automatically which is a completely natural process that is constantly taking place, but most of the time we are not aware of it. Bioenergy therapy is the application of natural energy processes and laws for awakening your own immune defenses, which due to a disharmonious way of life or due to some other factors (genetics, environment, etc.) become weakened or stop functioning entirely.

Learn HERE more.

Bioenergetics is the part of biochemistry concerned with the energy involved in making and breaking of chemical bonds in the molecules found in biological organisms. It can also be defined as the study of energy relationships and energy transformations and transductions in living organisms. The ability to harness energy from a variety of metabolic pathways is a property of all living organisms. Growth, development, anabolism, and catabolism are some of the central processes in the study of biological organisms because the role of energy is fundamental to such biological processes. Life is dependent on energy transformations; living organisms survive because of the exchange of energy between living tissues/ cells and the outside environment.

The essence of the biofield perspective is that a variety of endogenously generated electromagnetic and other fields act within and between multiple levels of biology, from molecular and cellular, through tissues and whole organisms to affect our personal and perhaps even our interpersonal functioning. The human body is a biofield.

Biofield science is an emerging field of study that aims to provide a scientific foundation for understanding the complex homeodynamic regulation of living systems. By furthering our scientific knowledge of the biofield, we arrive at a better understanding of the foundations of biology as well as the phenomena that have been described as “energy medicine.”
Biotherapy is biofield therapy.

Yes, bioenergy/energy therapy is nowadays practiced throughout the world and is called biofield therapy. New approaches in scientific research are slowly revealing the possible mechanism of bioenergy therapy. Many hospitals and medical centers are slowly starting to integrate bioenergy therapy to complement and support conventional medicine.


No, Bioqr™ therapy is complementary and supplementary to all other medical and ‘alternative’ therapies, even though, in many cases, it is much more successful and efficient. After therapy, you should not discontinue the medication or other treatments or medical procedures prescribed by your doctor. Only a biomedical check-up can confirm improvement and make further decisions in conjunction with the patient about continuing or discontinuing conventional medical treatment.

With groups of people, energy potentials multiply and “share” automatically. When in a group, it is easier to observe improvement during the therapy itself. It is also easier to exchange experiences. Group dynamics are an essential part of the subconscious work.

No! A natural energy process cannot be harmful in itself. Biotherapy is a noninvasive treatment without side-effects.

Yes, a diagnosis is necessary from a doctor. We do not diagnose.

No special preparation is needed. It is advisable to come at least 15 minutes before the beginning of therapy. It is desirable to free yourself from as many commitments as possible during the therapy days. Strong reactions during therapy are possible which can interfere with our everyday activities. It can be detrimental to the therapy if we are forced to rush off somewhere, or if we are not totally committed to the therapeutic process. Therapy cannot be beneficial if we are feeling pressured.

Depending on the individual, what is felt ranges from very powerful sensations to no sensation at all. Some people feel a tingling, burning or prickling sensation, coldness, draft, pressure, momentary relief, fatigue or drowsiness, uncontrollable laughter or crying, a floating sensation in the extremities, body movement, dizziness or vertigo. Whether or not a patient feels something during therapy, is not an indication of the success of the therapy, because everybody is unique and therefore they react in unique ways.

No, only a medical specialist can decide about discontinuing the medication. 

After 15 to 30 days, depending on the condition treated, one can expect results that can be objectively measured by means of clinical medicine. Sometimes in the first 15 days after therapy symptoms increase, or a sudden deterioration occurs, which is a crisis that signifies a strong bodily reaction to the intensified activities of a regenerated immune system.

Therapy can be repeated in consultation with a therapist and in accordance with other therapeutic forms that are applied.

Yes, but it is important for the patient to personally commit to the decision to stop drug or alcohol misuse.

All diseases can be treated successfully. With some diseases, the objective success will be complete recovery, while with others, symptoms of the disease will be alleviated, or the result will be greater independence for the patient or arrest the development of the disease, depending on a number of factors that are not directly related to Bioqr™ therapy. We don’t treat medical conditions with psychosis or contagious diseases.

Yes, except schizophrenia and other mental diseases with psychosis. Patients with mental diseases must be accompanied.

With genetic diseases, we can only maintain symptoms with treatments on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis.

Yes, children of any age can be treated.

Yes. If the patient is vulnerable or being cared for by somebody else, then they will need to be accompanied.

Yes, it is possible for educational or research purposes and if you accompany someone else for some objective medical reason.

There is no price enforced for the therapy. At the end of the therapy session, an anonymous donation is made to the therapist.


Bioqr™ therapy is not based around the traditional concepts of the Life Force or Life energy like Qi or Prana. These concepts belong to Vitalism which was dropped in biology almost 100 years ago. Traditional concepts of the Life Force don’t have any scientific evidence to support its existence. Also, modern biophysics, biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and genetics operate in a realm of the modern understanding of the world which is evidence-based knowledge. Qi, Prana, Pneuma and Life Force are spiritual concepts that are not biological or physical. The etymology of the words Qi, Prana, and Spirit is the same, the breath. 

No, we are based on a very modern approach to bioenergy therapy. Chakras and Auras don’t exist in a biological realm. They are only interesting mental concepts developed as a part of the New Age movement. To put it in a simple way, there is no Chakra and Aura as physical entities. They are just concepts.

Nothing in the classical sense where the healer is considered to be more spiritual than others. Medicine is a science of the mind, body and social well-being. Spirituality is a concept of the world that has many different faces and understandings. Medicine and spirituality are two completely different subjects. In some special cases, spiritual thinking can be beneficial for the patients, for example in hospice, pain management, palliative care, psychological work, etc.

No, this is a misconception that has roots in spiritism and animism. Energy is not bad or good. Energy is benevolent. Sometimes people use the word “energy” to express emotional states which are purely subjective and have nothing to do with term energy in modern physics.

Nothing, it is another misconception where a few psychological phenomena were thought to be the sixth sense. Unfortunately, humans don’t have magneto-receptors and electro-receptors beyond 5 senses which are developed due to our evolutionary needs to protect and survive.

No, anyone can do energy therapy. Healing is not a supernatural ‘special power’ that somebody possesses, but an application of knowledge and skills.