Touch: An essential way to connect. Photo by Mikhail Nilov.

The Flex Life: Why We Need Touch Now

We are creatures of connection. From the moment we’re born we crave contact and interaction, and touch is one of the first ways those needs get met. As we get older, however, personal contact can diminish, especially in the digital age. And after extended periods of lockdown, working from home, and curtailed travel, more people than ever before find themselves missing the comfort of human touch.
Visibility Coach and tantric practitioner
Ali Duncan
knows this well. “The effects of prolonged physical distancing are showing up as anxiety and depression,” she says. “Without that physical touch and connection, some feel blocked, abandoned, and alone.”
Visibility coach Ali Duncan. Photo courtesy of Ali Duncan.
Based in Denver, Duncan is a visibility coach and spiritual guide to healing. She founded
Urban Sanctuary
in October 2016 as a home for diverse practitioners offering energy work, acupressure, massage, estheticians, ayurveda, and more. Duncan herself uses energy work, touch, and breath to help clients create a life that is abundant, aligned, sensual, and present.
At a recent Sentral Explorer event, Duncan explained the rich possibilities of touch and just how that energy moves through the body. We asked her to share more about why the spiritual traditions of energy work are so essential.

Why is touch important?

Because it’s what connects us. It stimulates the body and reminds us that we are secure, that we are protected, and that we are seen. It is a physical gift that we give each other. Another important reason for touch is that it supports the body’s system of balance and strengthens the immune system.

You refer to yourself as a visibility coach. What do you mean by that?

Most people do not want to be seen except when they look successful. When we embrace all parts of ourselves, that is when the healing begins. The parts of us that we think are ugly, unsuccessful, or mean must come to the surface to be accepted. The kind of healing that occurs when we grieve and work through our trauma in a group is amazing. I am here to support those who are ready to embrace all parts of themselves, to live the best life and to live it in a big way. In order for that to happen, you must be seen, you must be visible.

How did you come to do this type of work?

 “Reiki was my gateway drug,” Duncan says. Photo by Mikhail Nilov.
Reiki was introduced to me in 2003 and after getting my attunements for levels 1, 2, and 3, I moved into quantum healing and more. I like to say that Reiki was my gateway drug.

How can the average person become attuned to the kind of body energies you work with?

Everyone has access to the energies around them and in them. Starting to trust yourself is how to tap into this energy. The amazing thing about this energy is it begins to heal the individual while you are working on other things.

What regular practices do you recommend to promote health and healing?

Duncan calls touch “a physical gift we give each other.” Photo by Mikhail Nilov.
The most powerful practice that I have found is noticing the divine in all things around you. When you connect with what is around you from a place of gratitude, it shifts your entire body. You feel happier, peaceful, and connected. When you feel this way then your body is happier, and a happy balanced environment allows the body to heal.