• Essential Touch Logo

    Welcome To Essential Touch

    by Intuitive Bodywork

    Platonic Touch & Human Connection Therapy

    Celebrating The Power Of Human Touch!


    Harrisburg & New Cumberland, PA

    Phone: 717.884.9568

    Email: alan@essentialtouch.org

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    "We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection."~ Dalai Lama  

    Cuddling Kills Depression, Relieves Anxiety and Strengthens the Immune System

    Book an Essential Touch Appointment Now

    with Alan Jordan or Valerie Zehring!

    Book Now Button

    Convenient Harrisburg & New Cumberland, PA Locations

    Phone Number: 717.884.9568

    Email: alan@essentialtouch.org 

  • A Picture Of Young And Old Hands Touching

    "Touch has the power to comfort us when we are sad, heal us when we are sick, encourage us when we feel lost, and above all else, allow us to accept that we are not alone.

    -- Samantha Hess, Professional Cuddler

  • Smiling Woman Resting Her Face On Man's Chest

    “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 
    ― Leo Buscaglia

  • What is Essential Touch?

    Platonic Touch & Human Connection Therapy... or Not?

    The Choice is Yours! Keep Reading to Learn More or Click Here to Jump to Alternative Sessions!

    The Essential Touch Experience

    Essential Touch is a form of therapy that involves the use of platonic physical touching, such as holding or cuddling, as a means of promoting emotional well-being and healing. It is often used as a complementary therapy for people who are dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues.


    Essential Touch provides a compassionate and nurturing experience of non-sexual human touch for individuals who: 

    • Seek to understand and delve deeper into the significance of touch and human connection in a safe and non-judgmental setting.
    • Feel a lack of touch in their lives or simply desire more human connection for various reasons.
    • Are searching for a secure avenue to overcome their fear of touch on their own terms, within a safe environment.
    • Struggle with social anxiety and are in need of a supportive space to develop social skills and boost confidence.
    • Simply desire the comfort of holding someone or being held themselves.

    But What if I am really uncomfortable with touch or just not ready to jump into the full Essential Touch experience?


    Alternative Sessions: Connection Without Touch ... or until you are ready to add touch.


    Image of two people holding hands


    Essential Touch may be helpful for a variety of emotional and psychological conditions, including:

    • Anxiety and stress: Cuddling can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress by promoting the release of oxytocin, a hormone that can promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
    • Depression: Touch therapy may help to alleviate symptoms of depression by promoting feelings of connection and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): For individuals with PTSD, touch therapy can help to reduce symptoms of hyperarousal and promote feelings of safety and security.
    Image of Man and Woman Holding Each Other

    Conditions (continued)

    • Chronic pain: Cuddling can help to reduce feelings of pain by promoting the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body.
    • Autism spectrum disorders: People with autism spectrum disorders may find touch therapy helpful in reducing anxiety and promoting social connection.

    According to Dr. Tiffany Field, Director of the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami Medical Center, "We are a 'touch-deprived' nation." Indeed, many current research studies and scholarly articles show beyond doubt that we live in a touch-deprived society.


    New England surgeon and noted author Bernie Siegel writes, “in your touch is the gift of life, and without it, we die. For an infant this is true and for adults, it can be psychologically and literally true. Within us live many personalities, and if they are not touched they die and take their body with them.”

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    Do You Need More Human Touch In Your Life?

    According to Psychology Today author Ray Williams, "Physical contact distinguishes humans from other animals. From a warm handshake or sympathetic hug to a congratulatory pat on the back, we have developed complex languages, cultures, and emotional expressions through physical contact.


    But in a tech-saturated world, non-sexual human touch is in danger of becoming rare, if not obsolete. Despite the benefits of digital advancement, it is vital to preserve the human touch in order for us truly to thrive. ...Humans become nearly unrecognizable in the absence of touch."


    • Scientific research now correlates physical touch with the following important areas:
    • Decreased violence
    • Greater trust between individuals
    • Decreased disease and stronger immune system
    • Stronger team dynamics
    • More non-sexual emotional intimacy
    • Greater learning engagement
    • Overall wellbeing


    In his book, A Brief History of Massage, author Robert Noah Calvert writes, “Massage has survived and continues to evolve because it is the most fundamental means of giving care, affection and aid between human beings. Its healing qualities differ from those of other modalities because massage confers its benefits through the character and healing intention of those who give and receive it. The true value of massage comes from the intrinsic, inherent need of humans to have contact with one another.”


    Essential Touch is not massage therapy. although simple massage may be incorporated in some sessions. Instead, It is a pure and simple caring and loving human touch, on your terms and may take various forms according to the needs of the client. Apart from adherence to The Rules, there is no set agenda and no expectations. Each session is different and conforms to the unique needs of the client at present.

  • But What If I Am Really Uncomfortable With Touch... or

    Just Not Ready to Jump Into the Full Essential Touch Experience?


    Alternative Sessions: Connection Without Touch ...

    or until you are ready to add touch.

    Are you feeling lonely and craving human connection? Well, fear not because there is a solution that doesn't involve any physical touch. An Essential Touch Alternative Session is the perfect way to develop your relationship skills without feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable. Whether you're not quite ready for touching or simply prefer other forms of connection, this session has got you covered! Essential Touch Alternative sessions provide a safe space for you to express yourself and be heard, all while forming a genuine human connection.


    Sometimes, the simplest acts of being together can have a profound impact on our well-being. In an Essential Touch Alternative Session, you can simply be in the presence of another person and enjoy each other's company without any pressure or expectations. Whether it's sitting side-by-side or taking a walk in the park, the power of shared experiences cannot be underestimated. These sessions allow you to cultivate connection through shared activities, fostering a sense of community and belonging.


    So, if you're feeling lonely and yearning for human connection but aren't quite ready for physical touch, an Essential Touch Alternative session is the perfect solution for you. Through chatting, reading, simply being together, or engaging in shared activities, you can develop your relationship skills in a safe and comfortable environment. Don't let your hesitations hold you back - embrace the power of connection in new and exciting ways!

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  • Essential Touch Clients Come From All Walks Of Life. Some Populations Seeking Touch Include But Are Not Limited To:

    • Singles without a partner (recently divorced, widowed, or experiencing a breakup).
    • People who are ill or are recovering from a physical illness.
    • People recovering from an emotional crisis, abuse, or addiction.
    • College students living in a new and unfamiliar city.Young professionals living in a new location where they have not made many new contacts and feel alone.
    • The elderly.
    • Anyone who is experiencing a significant amount of stress in their life.
    • Anyone who is isolated or feels lonely.
    • Anyone whose touch needs are not being met in their current situation
    • Anyone who simply wants more touch
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  • The Essential Touch Team

    Meet Alan & Valerie!

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    Alan Jordan, LMT, NCTMB


    Alan's Story

    My 25+ Years Experience as a Professional Touch-Based Therapist & Educator ​


    Following a 23-year career owning and directing massage therapy schools in Tennessee, Florida, and New Jersey, I decided to return to my passion as a full-time massage therapist in private practice and opened Intuitive Bodywork Massage Therapy, Edgewater, New Jersey in 2009 In 2010, I relocated and moved Intuitive Intuitive Bodywork to Downtown, New Cumberland, PA.


    I believe that safe, nurturing touch is essential to achieving optimal health, mental and emotional well-being, and for performing to our full quality of life potential.


    My education and experience have led me to specialize in Massage Therapy for Stress Relief and Relaxation, Neuromuscular Therapy for Pain Relief and Joint Mobility, Prenatal Massage, Lymphatic Breast Massage, Energy Bodywork, and Mind-Body Healing, with a focus on women's health.


    During my 25+ year career as a practicing massage therapist, a massage school owner, instructor, and a continuing education provider, I have performed over 26,000 massages! I have taught thousands of massage therapy students, professional massage therapists & other health care professionals. During this time, I have also been a student of massage, bodywork, and holistic health with a diploma in massage and neuromuscular therapy, dozens of continuing education certificates, and a BA degree in Holistic Studies.


    I have helped thousands of people feel better by providing relief from physical pain and illness, emotional stress, trauma, and energetic dysfunctions. I have witnessed many amazing healing experiences.


    But, Did I Miss The Greater Need?

    Yet, after all this time I can’t help but feel that on some level, as a person who has made an entire career in the field of professional touch, I have missed something very important - The act of just offering simple, nonjudgemental caring touch, holding, cuddling and non-sexually "just being" with another person.


    To quote Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR in Her Massage Today article Have We Created a Touch Deprived Society, "I believe that perhaps our real work as massage therapists, regardless of your clientele, is to help usher in a new age where human touch returns to its rightful place in our world."


    "Touch deprivation is a reality in American culture as a whole," writes Reverend Anthony David of Atlanta. "It's just not babies needing to be touched in caring ways, or the sick. It's not just doctors and nurses needing to extend it. It's all of us, needing connection, needing to receive it, needing to give it, with genuine happiness at stake." (Source: Massage Therapy.com article by Nora Brunner, The Power of Touch)


    At Vermont College, I completed a six-month study on The Link Between Touch Deprivation At Birth & In Early Childhood And Violent Behavior In Adolescence And Adulthood. Not only did I learn that the link is real, I learned about the reality of how widespread touch deprivation is throughout life, and the resulting harm to both the individual and society.


    Essential Touch - The Beginning

    Thus, Essential Touch was born as a division of my Intuitive Bodywork Massage Therapy practice. It's a bit of a risky venture... I am sure there are people who will think I am nuts to offer such a thing as pure non-sexual touch for health and healing... But I have learned too much to sit back and do nothing.


    If you have read this far, I hope that you will have the opportunity to experience Essential Touch for yourself! I invite you to make an appointment soon!


    Education & Experience

    • BA Degree in Holistic Health, Vermont College of Norwich University
    • Certified Relationship Coach
    • Certified Neuromuscular Therapist
    • Certified Neuromuscular Therapy Instructor
    • Certified Prenatal Therapist
    • Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB)
    • Certified Relationship Coach
    • Published Author in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health
    • Former Owner Of Wellness Spa & Integrative Medical Center
    • Former Massage School Owner, Director & Instructor
    • National Conference Presenter & CE Provider
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    Valerie Zehring


    Valerie's Story


    Valerie Brings 20+ Years of Experience as a Highly-Skilled Psychotherapist & Intuitive Healer

    Valerie brings more than 20 years of experience as a highly-skilled psychotherapist and intuitive healer. With an emphasis on trauma process and release, grief and loss, she assists her clients in moving toward the assimilation of the body-mind-soul connection. Her work has included extensive study via traditional and non-traditional education/methods. Valerie earned her professional degrees--Bachelor's and Master's--in Psychology at Norwich University and brings considerable, in-depth experience working with individuals, couples, and families.
    Valerie’s journey has been epic—having to survive many personal losses and trauma experiences--and healing over many years, she brings substantial down-to-earth, practical, emotional, and spiritual support. 
    She has always been a naturally sensitive person, a “seer” and an experience-er of things beyond normal senses. Due to having 3 near-death experiences at different times in her life, certain abilities she had as a child have been strengthened. With deep emotional and empathic intelligence, she sometimes will receive messages/impressions/visions for the person she is working with, allowing herself to be a container and a catalyst via Divine Source/Wisdom for others' healing and transformation. 
    She works with dream interpretation, the intersection of soul purpose/energy and psychotherapy(Yes, they are complementary!), mastery in hands-on healing via several traditions of Reiki, dream interpretation, and soul work.
    Along the way, Valerie has acquired a substantial amount of knowledge and experience, but what is most important to her, is the Wisdom that has been gained. Her intention is to teach and inspire others to find their own Wisdom--inside a healthy body and mind with natural support from your own Soul and relationship to your true self.
  • Essential Touch Cost Of Service

    The Cost Of Service Is Based On The Length Of The Appointment

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    Essential Touch Cost Of Services


    Valerie's Rates

    60-Minutes - $95.00

    90-Minutes - $142.50


    Alan's Rates

    75-Minutes - $95.00

    105-Minutes - $125.00

    Two Hours - $160.00

    Three Hours - $225.00


    Essential Touch accepts cash, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

    Payment is due at the beginning of the session, or you can prepay your session using the link below

    Essential Touch professionals are open to accommodating clients of all ages of legal consent, sizes, ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. That said, safety and appropriate behavior by all parties are our primary concerns. Essential Touch reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, for no reason, and without explanation. 

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    Take The Next Step!

    Discover the transformative power of Essential Touch, where genuine, non-sexual human connection awaits. Whether you are seeking to delve into the realm of touch and human interaction, longing for more touch in your life, or yearning for a safe environment to conquer your fear of touch, Essential Touch is your ultimate destination.


    Our compassionate, judgment-free space offers the perfect opportunity for individuals with social anxiety to build social skills and boost their confidence. Embrace the healing embrace you deserve – the choice to hold or be held is yours. Join us and experience the profound impact of caring touch today.


    Book Your Essential Touch Session Now!

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    Essential Touch



  • How To Book an Appointment With Valerie

    Booking Your Appointment With Valerie Is A Three-Step Process.

    You Can Also Pay For Your Session In Advance If You Want.


    To Book Your Appointment

    With Valerie, Text Valerie To Request An Essential Touch Appointment at 717.608.7523.


    NOTE: Text Only.

    Please Do Not Call.



    After Texting Valerie, Proceed to Step #2.









    Complete the Essential Touch Confidential Client Intake Form


    IMPORTANT - Your Intake Form Must Be Received At Least 24 Hours Before Your First Session.

    To complete the client intake form please be prepared to:

    • Certify that you have read, understand, and agree to abide by The Rules For Essential Touch, the Cancellation Policy, the Client Agreement, and the Statement of Informed Consent.
    • Scan and upload both sides of your Federal or state-issued ID. (ie Driver's License, state-issued ID, or US passport).

    Click Here To Complete The Client Intake Form Online Now


    After Receipt Of Your Confidential Client Intake Form, Valerie will be in touch with you promptly to book your appointment and share the Harrisburg, PA location for your Essential touch session.  









    Optional Step: Prepay Your Essential Touch Session



    Click Here To Prepay Your Essential Touch Session Now


    NOTE: If not prepaid, full payment is due prior to the start of your session.


    Thank you for choosing Essential Touch!




  • Got Questions, Need Help?

    Get In Touch!

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    Email: alan@essentialtouch.org

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  • How To Book an Appointment With Alan

    Booking Your Appointment With Alan Is A Two-Step Process.

    You Can Also Pay For Your Session In Advance If You Want.


    To Book Your Essential Touch Appointment

    Online With Alan,

    Click Here Now

    (Note: You will find Essential Touch near the bottom of the booking page)



    Your Appointment With

    Alan Will Be At:

    Intuitive Bodywork

    Massage Therapy

    337 Bridge Street, 2nd floor

    New Cumberland, PA 17070












    Complete the Essential Touch Confidential Client Intake Form


    IMPORTANT - Your Intake Form Must Be Received At Least 24 Hours Before Your First Session.

    To complete the client intake form please be prepared to:

    • Certify that you have read, understand, and agree to abide by The Rules For Essential Touch, the Cancellation Policy, the Client Agreement, and the Statement of Informed Consent.
    • Upload both sides of your Federal or state-issued ID here (ie Driver's License, state-issued ID, or US passport).

    Click Here To Complete The Client Intake Form Online Now


    Optional Step: Prepay Your Essential Touch Session



    Click Here To Prepay Your Essential Touch Session



    If Not Prepaid, Payment Is Due At The Time Of Service.


    Thank you for choosing Essential Touch!




  • The Benefits Of Human Touch

    adapted from Lifehacks Website

    Touch Releases Oxytocin.

    Oxytocin is a hormone that does everything from making you feel good to help you feel connected to others

    Touch Boosts Your Immune System.

    When you’re so in love you feel invincible, you’re experiencing oxytocin release. This feel-good hormone makes you feel like nothing can hurt you—which is an amazing benefit! It also increases hormones that help fight infection. So, basically, you’re boosting your immune system because you’re feeling too good and healthy to get sick.

    Touch Reduces Social Anxiety.

    Oxytocin inspires positive thinking. It helps you have an optimistic outlook on the world. That means when you get a hug right as you arrive at the party where you only know one person, you’re going to feel happier and more social going in. You’ll feel like you can charm everyone at the party. And with oxytocin coursing through your system, you will!

    Touch Reduces Stress.

    Oxytocin is an amazing natural hormone that has so many benefits for the human body. It’s only natural that all these positive effects are going to release stress, also. You’re feeling more connected with your partner, you’re feeling confident in social situations, and your immune system is stronger—what do you have to be stressed about?

    Touch lowers your risk of heart disease.

    All the benefits listed above add together to mean less stress, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, and—you got it—a lower risk of heart disease! Because your heart is happier and not working as hard to combat the effects of stress and sickness, you’ll be healthier, and stronger.

    Touch Doesn’t Have A Definition.

    Cuddling doesn’t have to be between you and your romantic partner. It doesn’t even have to be with another person—you can rub your own shoulders! You can also hug friends or play with your pets

  • Cuddling is Good for You!

    Cuddling is good for babies - and you, too! 

    University Of California



  • The Essential Touch Rules

    Essental Touch Is Consensual And Non-Sexual Touch, Holding & Snuggling

    Man & Woman Embracing

    All Participants Must Wear Proper Attire

    Clothes Must Stay On Throughout The Session!

    Essential Touch may be performed in loose, comfortable attire of your choice including street-wear, tights, exercise outfits, pajamas, t-shirts, swimsuits and similar atttire. It's up to you. Nudity is not allowed.

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    There Is No Sex. Ever. Anytime. For Any Reason.

    Don't Even Think About It!

    Essential Touch is platonic, non-sexual touch, carresing, snuggling designed to provide a safe place for people to explore and experience the health benefits of human touch.

    Man's Unwanted Hand On Woman's Shoulder

    Both Parties Must Ask For Permission Before Touching

    You Must Get A Verbal "Yes" Before Touching. If You Are Yes, Say "Yes." If You Are A No, Say "No." If You Are A "Maybe," Say "No." ---No Always Means No!---

    You may change your mind from a yes to a no or from a no to a yes at anytime. Genitals, the anus, nipples and other sensitive areas are never touched. Don't even ask.

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    Either Party May Stop The Session At Any Time

    You Are Under No Pressure To Start Or To Continue An Essential Touch Session At Any Time. If Either Party Is Uncomfortable For Any Reason, He Or She May Choose To Stop The Session At Anytime!

    There are times you may not wish to touch or be touched. That is okay. You are in a safe space.

    Image Of Baby Brushing Teeth

    Be Clean. Practice Good Hygiene!

    Take A Bath Or Shower On The Day Of Your Session. Brush Your Teeth. Don't Smoke Just Prior To Your Session. Avoid Heavy Perfumes.

    Essential Touch is intimate. caring touch. Everybody likes clean!

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    Getting Ready Fot Your First Session

    Click Here To Read The WikiHow Article, "How To Cuddle"

    Being nervous before a session Is normal. The nervousness will dissipate quickly. You are encouraged to laugh, cry, talk, be quiet, express your thoughts or work through issues as desired or needed. Have fun, feel good, enjoy the session and experience the benefits of human touch!

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How is Essential Touch Different Than Massage?

    For massage, there’s this feeling that you’re being worked on and healed. It’s not mutual. It’s a completely different energy with cuddling. It’s a mutual, consensual experience, consensual, not in the sense of, “Sure, I’ll do that,” but in the sense that both people want what’s happening.

    What Happens During An Essential Touch Session?

    One of the benefits of an Essential Touch session is that it does not need to observe a strict protocol. An Essential touch session may be designed and even changed on-the-fly to best meet the needs of the client. A session may be as simple as just talking, or holding hands, or practicing gentle touch to a "safe place" on the body. A session may include touching, hugging, cuddling, stroking hair, or caressing in a sitting, standing, or lying position


    The most important considerations during any session are mutual respect and the comfort of each person. Essential Touch sessions are comfortable, easy-going, non-judgemental, and pressure-free.


    Essential Touch takes place in a quiet, gentle, informal, and healing atmosphere. Both parties must be comfortable for any touch to proceed. The session may be stopped at any time by either party for any reason.

    Have Another Question?

    We Would Love To Hear From You! Complete The Form Below. We will be in touch soon.

  • In Case You Didn't Know!

    Businesses offering access to healthy, non-sexual human touch are a growing trend in America. From New York to California to Nebraska and Alabama, human touch and cuddling service providers can now be found throughout the United States.  


    According to ABC Channel 23 News in Grand Rapids, Michigan, "Touch is the first, and perhaps most profound, language that we learn. Research from the Touch Research Institute has proven that touching and hugging can strengthen your immune system, lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. And yet skin hunger is becoming an epidemic in the United States." 


    Now, professional human touch by Essential Touch & Cuddle Therapy and Intuitive Bodywork Massage Therapy is available to anyone, 18 years or older, in the Metro Harrisburg, PA Area!  

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  • Contact Us

    Have Questions? Need More Info? Just Complete The Form Below and We Will Get Back In Touch With You Soon.

    We Look Forward To Hearing From You!

    Intuitive Bodywork Massage Therapy, Essential Touch, 337 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070
    By Appointment Only
  • Thank You For Visiting Essential Touch!

    Alan Jordan
    Man Touching Woman's Feet In Car

    Experience The Healing Power Of Touch!

    Alan Jordan

    I look forward to seeing you soon! Alan Jordan

    Owner, Therapist