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Cuddle therapy at 'About Balance'

Lindsay Meadows, Cuddle Therapist, on BBC One Breakfast

We often don’t have enough touch in our lives, for a variety of reasons- we might be single, or in a relationship with someone who isn’t tactile. Or we might never have had much touch in our lives, or, due to experiences we’ve had, we may find it uncomfortable- and yet there’s a pull, or a feeling of curiousity.

There’s a good reason we feel drawn towards having human contact. Studies have shown that touch has a number of health benefits: it reduces stress, decreases anxiety and depression, lessens pain, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces insomnia- it even quells existential fears. It also makes us feel happy, thanks to the chemical cocktail touch produces in our brains- oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.

For all of those reasons cuddle therapy is becoming increasingly sought out as a safe, relaxed way to have more touch in our lives.

A cuddle therapy session may include cuddling, talking, or any combination of the two. You may like to lie down, get comfy and simply talk, whether that’s having a relaxed chat or talking about deeper issues that are going on for you. We may hold hands, if you feel comfortable with that. If we do, you’ll feel the oxytocin kick in and start to feel relaxed and safe. You can then let me know if you feel ready for a hug- there’s never any pressure to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with, so you may take several sessions to build up to having a hug, or you may never want one. Having said that, my clients are often surprised by how quickly they start feeling at ease.

Or, you may feel comfortable right away and go straight in for a cuddle, and spend the whole session relaxed in an intimate, blissful snuggle.

The session will begin by us sitting down on a futon and having a chat about what kind of session you would like. If you’re not sure, that’s absolutely fine- we will figure it out together and I will check in with you regularly that you’re comfortable. I have no expectations of how much touch, or how much talking there will be- it’s entirely up to what feels right for you.

A standard session lasts an hour, but you’d be surprised how quickly that hour can pass! Many clients book longer sessions, though I would recommend just booking an hour for your first session. Please don’t worry if you feel awkward or nervous when you arrive for your first session- this is normal and expected, and I’m experienced at putting people at ease.

Some lovely feedback from my clients (names kept confidential):

"It left me with a warm glow for the rest of the day followed by a really good nights sleep! It was a lovely, nurturing, instinctively positive experience."

"An unforgettable experience, Lindsay is so awesome and puts you at ease straightaway."

"That night I slept like, well, a baby, de-stressed, relaxed, suffused with a sense of well being."

"Lindsay is a warm and thoughtful therapist. Cuddle therapy with her was a really lovely experience, especially for someone like me who misses proper hugs and cuddles. I recommend her caring, professional and person-centred approach."

"Had my first cuddle therapy experience, I was really nervous and did not know what to expect at first. But soon it became really relaxing and enjoyable. It feels like a combination of a nice sensual massage combined with psychiatric therapy as I talked through the problems I was facing. After the session, I gained a much needed boost in confidence and much calmer then before. I would recommend this therapy to anyone who just needs a little love and support. =)"

"I'd definitely recommend cuddle therapy to anyone! I don't think it matters whether you're in a relationship or not because it's a different thing - having permission to just let yourself be cuddled and not worry about the other person. It feels like a very personal thing, like it's for you only (just like therapy), so has nothing to do with anyone else."

"Grateful! I really recommend Lindsay’s Cuddle Therapy. She held such a safe and loving space, where I felt comfortable to feel: to cry, to laugh, to talk, to just exist, and to be held in that. Touch can be so healing and transforming. Thank you."