The Story behind Skin Hunger

A reminder that our need to eat is as fundamental as our need to be touched

What happens if we can’t touch each other? The answer is Skin Hunger - the biological need for human touch. It’s why babies in neonatal intensive care units are placed on their parent’s naked chests. It’s the reason why prisoners in solitary confinement often report craving human contact as ferociously as they desire their freedom.


Skin Hunger 3 - Serving and massaging Picture made on 07-23-2020 at the Skin Hunger Photoshoot. Willem Velthoven

‘’All human senses, including vision, are an extension of the sense of touch. Skin is something that is constantly in touch with the world. Skin is our border, protection, and also a limit before we get in touch with what is around us. It is our medium of communication and the skin is the oldest membrane and the most sensitive of our organs. For example, even the cornea of our eyes is protected by a transparent layer of modified skin.’’  From the Joker, Margherita Soldati. 

Humans need to be touched. At least, they do to function.

“When you touch the skin,” explains Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, “it stimulates pressure sensors under the skin that send messages to the vagus [a nerve in the brain.] As vagal activity increases, the nervous system slows down, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and your brain waves show relaxation. Levels of stress hormones such as cortisol are also decreased.” Touch also releases oxytocin, the hormone released during sex and childbirth to bond us together. In other words, the human touch is biologically good for you. 

‘Skin Hunger’ wants to remind you that our need to eat is as fundamental as our need to be touched.

With the Neo Futurist Breakfast Skin Hunger, you are introduced to several massage and breathing techniques. Hereby we would like to give you more in-depth information, on which we based the 5 steps of the breakfast.

1. Through the feet, we ground 

Finding your energy point under your foot and massaging the muscle called plantar fascia (which is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot) is a simple exercise that might promote emotional and physical calm and relaxation. 

The golf ball’s size, shape, and weight make it the perfect tool to massage your feet almost anywhere.

When used in tandem with proven conservative treatments like icing, and rest, a golf ball massage can offer all of the following benefits:

  • Stimulates blood flow to the arch and improves circulation
  • Lowers cortisol levels, which helps promote recovery and healing
  • Relaxes and loosens tight, constricted muscles and ligaments
  • Helps temporarily numb pain signals from nerves in the foot
  • Triggers a healing response that can bring down inflammation and swelling
  • Helps break up scar tissue and adhesions that restrict movement and cause pain
  • Relieves stress and promotes a greater sense of well-being by promoting the release of endorphins (hormones that can help block pain signals), serotonin, and dopamine
  • Improves oxygen and nutrient absorption in the foot muscles
  • Increases circulation of lymph fluid (a substance the body produces to help remove waste)

Do it yourself at home with a golf ball.

2. Exhale and inhale, absorb and conquer 

One of the most overlooked — yet most effective — stress management tools is something we involuntarily carry with us throughout every second of the day: our breath. There is a good reason why we often hear people say, “Keep breathing.”

For hundreds of years, Buddhists, yoga practitioners, and eastern healers have believed that the breath is the foundation of our life force and energy — which is why many meditation practices and yoga classes include a strong focus on deep breathing techniques. When training in Buddhist meditation, we are taught the importance of having the correct posture, breathing properly, and preparing the mind.

Today, studies show that breathing exercises can improve cognitive function, encourage positive thought processes, and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Breathing releases stress.

Studies have shown when you are stressed your digestion is turned off as your body is in fight or flight mode. 

When you are relaxed, you breathe in more oxygen and burn food more fully, your digestion is awake. This type of breathing increases endorphins relaxing the body turning on your digestion.

Do it yourself at home by laying down or sitting straight on a chair.

3. Breaking free & convey your energy 

A shoulder massage can encourage relaxation and relax the body physically and mentally. Muscles in the shoulder can become tight and painful resulting in the body not being relaxed. A shoulder massage creates friction and increases the temperature of the muscles. Increasing the temperature helps improve the elasticity within the muscles resulting in less muscle tightness and tension. Reduced muscle tightness and tension helps the body relax as pain is decreased. This massage also helps the body to mentally relax. During a shoulder massage, the relaxation hormones serotonin and dopamine are increased. Serotonin and dopamine help the body be calm and relaxed. A decrease in the hormone cortisol also occurs. Cortisol increases stress within the body. An increase in serotonin and dopamine and a decrease in cortisol levels help the body to mentally relax.

 Do it yourself at home by following these instructions.

4. Desensitising & feeding your heart

A hand massage has the potential to improve your health and well-being in several ways:

  • less anxiety
  • better mood
  • improved sleep
  • greater grip strength

Repetitive motion causes damage to your hands over time. A hand massage can help loosen up the muscles in your hands and keep them healthy. Massage, in general, has a whole host of health benefits, and many of these apply to specific areas of the body, like your hands. 

Having a regular hand massage is a benefit to everyone, though particularly beneficial to those who work in an office, and who are most likely to spend many hours a day typing or doing other repetitive tasks. Manual laborers may also benefit from this application, as they work with their hands daily and may have muscle stiffness, soreness, or injuries. 

Do it yourself at home by following these instructions.

A hand on your heart: this simple act is performed to transmit energy from one body to another, a friendly hand, a supportive hand, a calming hand, or a peaceful hand.

5. Reaching the peak

Emotional freedom technique (EFT), which people often refer to as EFT tapping, is an alternative therapy for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some other conditions. Tapping helps you access your body's energy and send signals to the part of the brain that controls stress.

Studies claim that stimulating the meridian points through EFT tapping can reduce the stress or negative emotion you feel from your issue, ultimately restoring balance to your disrupted energy.

While the face has over 40 muscles, so massaging the face is not just good for applying products, but for moving energy. By skin stimulation, you increase circulation and draw blood to the surface to give you a refreshed appearance and feel.

Do it yourself at home following these instructions:


Skin hunger helps explain your desperate longing for human touch

Touch Research Institute

Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function

New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation

Shoulder massage

Emotional Freedom Technique (NL)

About the connection between food and touch

About how the body senses touch through additional tools (props)

About what happens to us if we are deprived of touch for too long