London Snuggle Therapy, founded and operated by Dan Oudshoorn, is open for business in Old South. Although snuggle therapy is popular in the United States and Europe, it has only begun to spread throughout Canada and this is the first business of this kind in London, Ontario. Snuggle Therapy recognizes that affectionate, nonsexual touch is a key component of living happy, healthy physical, mental, and spiritual lives. Too many people are touch deprived and experience a deep sense of loneliness and isolation because of this. For many, touch has only been experienced in the context of violence and sex. This can contribute to a whole host of health problems, not to mention social problems. To experience touch within a safe professional, nonviolent and nonsexual environment can significantly transform a person’s life. This is what London Snuggle Therapy proposes to do.
Dan came to believe in snuggle therapy after more than fifteen years spent working with people experiencing poverty, homelessness, and trauma. He has repeatedly stated that, “it is the loneliness that kills people,” and has founded London Snuggle Therapy, in part, to try and address the loneliness that seems to be ever more a part of our lives.
“Few things can so ably confront loneliness, and the anxiety, depression, and low sense of self worth it brings with it, as affectionate physical touch,” Dan says. “No one is untouchable. Everyone deserves to be held. To be held is to be validated. To be held is to be recognized as a human being – as someone who has dignity, beauty, and worth, simply because one is. Ultimately, to be held and validated and recognized in these ways contributes to the knowledge of one’s own self as beloved. This is the goal of snuggle therapy as I practice it. Knowing one’s self as beloved changes everything. It makes you also want to help others to know themselves as beloved. If more people knew themselves as beloved, and sought to reflect that back to others, the world would be a better place. So let’s change the world – or at least our small part of it.”