Part 5 of 5 - Our Wonderful Totally Amazing Body

Dec 05, 2013

By Cherie Carpenter

The Sense of Touch
The most intimate of our five senses is the Sense of Touch. An important aspect of human interaction - the only sense we cannot live without - undeniably essential to life!
Our first sensory experience is stimulated by skin to skin contact. In the natural birthing process, our receptors are stimulated as we move through the birth canal. Then we experience our mother's touch.  As soon as possible we are placed on our mother's chest or abdomen; she massages the vernix into the skin - an astounding beneficial protective antimicrobial moisturizing cream that babies are born with. This action imprints the sense of touch in a pleasing and safe experience. We become comfortable with sensuality throughout life.
Alternatively we may have a traumatic experience after emerging into the world by being pulled out or up and handled roughly, experience being needled, washed or scrubbed off only to be wrapped in fabric and lain down without the feeling of the comforting warmth of human touch. This experience may contribute to a partial withdrawal from the sense of touch and leads to a less fulfilling life experience.
The skin is the body organ used for touch and comes from microscopic sensory receptors (special nerve endings.) The most sensitive areas of your body are your hands, lips, face, neck, tongue, fingertips and feet. Some areas of the skin are much more sensitive than others; the finger tips have the highest sensitivity with over 100 touch receptors in each pad. Hair and nails are part of the skin; do they actually continue to grow for a while after the life force leaves our body?   If the least sensitive is the middle of the back why does it feel so good to have the back scratched?
Our brain interprets the signals sent from the nerve endings and we get a 'feel' for our world through heat, damp, dry, cold, wind, hard, soft, sharp, pressure, shapes, pleasure and pain. (We actually have more pain receptors or nerve endings than any other type.) Special parts of the brain called the somatosensory cortex receive touch messages from the skin around the body.
The subtle sense of touch occurs internally as well to help the brain sense the workings of our organs, endocrines, body parts and muscles to adjust as necessary for our well-being within. This is why we feel so good when we are physically active and/or breathing deeply for internal exercise.
A healthy intuition is being in touch with our gut feelings: a way to access our intuition and that subtle sense within may even alert us to danger. The sense of touch is closely associated with our feelings of safety, for example keeping a distance from extreme heat, cold or an unsafe place. We also experience a comfort when petting a cat or dog; receiving a hug or touch from a loved one or special friend; enjoying warmth on our skin from the sun; taking pleasure in a walk on soft sand in bare feet; feeling heat in a hot spring, wind on our faces, stretching our muscles, the feeling of a good yawn, touching soft skin on a baby's cheek. We can also be spiritually touched, gripped by a story that causes goose-bumps on our skin.
Energy passes from person to person, animals, plants and earth, and this may be perceived positive or negative. Healing energies felt through massage, laying of hands, keeping in touch or being in touch are all ways we experience the world through our senses. They give us constant physical and subtle feedback and interpret and orient the body with our external world... 
Cherie Carpenter, Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, Certified Access Trainer and BodyTalk Fundamentals Instructor enjoys a successful BodyTalk Practice in Barrie and Orillia.  She teaches BodyTalk Access and BodyTalk Fundamentals and Integrative in Ontario.  1-877-884-1767

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