Interesting read JP!
Very early on in treatment my therapist helped me to identify a sensation I feel quite regularly in the centre of my upper back as a need for touch or human warmth... I think it's something relating to being cradled in the womb and later held as a baby (or not), and I find that when that need is fulfilled I feel safe and warm and completely relaxed - it's the only time I feel like it's completely safe to let go of everything and relax properly.
With the support of my therapist I learned to satisfy this need, by warming up a wheat sack to put on the area and building myself a soft, warm, enshrouding nest out of pillows and quilts/duvets. Once I'm curled up in there I visualise feeling safe and held, when I close my eyes I visualise this light orangey glow, always across the right hand side of my face - a bit like the sun shining on your face with your eyes closed, but not as intense. The overall feeling is contentment and relaxation....and I usually fall asleep. In fact from starting therapy as someone with sleep issues that I'd had all my life, who tossed and turned and spent half of the night awake, this is also how I learned to sleep. I very rarely have any problems going to sleep now, and if I do I use this to resolve them.
Whilst I don't think this is a complete replacement for human contact - and as a mummy, I get lots of that - my 6 year old is particularly tactile, I do find it a really useful tool.