After the World Wars, many babies were orphaned. They were placed in state-run orphanages in the United Kingdom. They were kept warm and clean and fed at regular intervals. Suddenly many of the babies began to die of unknown causes. Scientists ascribed the reason for death to ‘lack of human touch, a lack of mothering.’ These deaths were caused by lack of hugging, fondling and nurturing. No one mothered the babies or spoke to them or sang to them. The children died due to lack of love.

The family provides the love and nurturing required for the survival of children. As we grow older, we crave nurturing, but are not adept at asking for it. We long for affirmation from the ‘significant other’ in our lives.

Affirmation is when important people in our lives say, ‘What I really like about you is …’ They say it verbally, tonally, non­verbally. The opposite of an affirmation is a discount. You need at least ten affirmations for every discount for the maintenance of a healthy relationship. A home filled with discounts becomes a torture chamber instead of a sanctuary. Dr Dean Ornish says that men who feel that their wives love them are much more likely to reverse heart disease, than those who feel the opposite. The home can be the cause for disease. It can also be the safe sanctuary for healing and reversal of disease. Fill your home with affirmations, with positive strokes, with a peaceful atmosphere, a nurturing space that enhances prana, the life force. Laughter and smiles, compliments and hugs can create a powerful positive field in the home.

‘Family is the shock absorber of society, to which the bruised and battered individual returns after doing battle with the world,’ wrote Alvin Toffler in his landmark work ‘Future Shock’. The family provides unconditional love for the crippled, the old and the helpless. It heals the pain of failure and provides rest from the assaults of a cruel competitive world. Family dynamics can cause disease or reverse it.