Increasing medical evidence shows the value of touch. In a research project at Harvard Medical School a number of patients all about to undergo similar operations were divided into two groups. The anesthetist visited all the patients the night before the operation. To one group he gave the usual information about the procedure for the following day. He gave similar information to the other group, but spent about five minutes longer with each patient: he sat on the bed, held the patient's hand, and was warm and sympathetic. After the operation, patients who had received the friendly approach asked for only about half the quantity of drugs that the others requested, and on average were discharged from the hospital three days earlier. This suggests the powerful effect that friendliness, combined with warmth, sympathy and touch, can have on general health.
I look forward to seeing you on my table in the near future.