Heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, September 20, 2010:
Social scientists have shown in many studies over the years that supportive touch can have good outcomes in a number of different realms. Consider the following examples: If a teacher touches a student on the back or arm, that student is more likely to participate in class. The more athletes high-five or hug their teammates, the better their game. A touch can make patients like their doctors more. If a waitress touches the arm or shoulder of a customer, she may get a larger tip.
The rest of the story includes the “Chocolate Connection.” And another article in the New York Times confirms similar benefits to those in the NPR story from even one massage session. Furthermore (though they don’t actually stress this), massage is just plain enjoyable on its own. Once again, just like chocolate!