It takes thousands of nerve endings (receptors) throughout our skin to process four basic sensations: pain, heat, cold and pressure. The sense of touch is very complex. As with the other senses shared on this journey, I really don’t think about how everything comes together. I just know I can use my senses to better myself and others.
Feeling pain allows me to know when to stop what I’m doing. I learned many years ago to touch a hot stove only once. I listened the second time when my mother told me to wear a hat because it was cold outside. We can learn much from our sense of touch. Although, I will acknowledge it took me quite some time to acquire the skill to combat the pressure I felt against my belt.
The learning process of basic survival measures based on the sense of touch goes beyond physical sensations. I’ll explain further by using another example of pressure. The power of a hug goes beyond the physical sensation of pressure. Virginia Satir, a family therapist, once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Research has shown that hugs can be healthy. One example is that hugs decrease stress hormones.
How can the sense of touch accomplish so many things? Touch aids in the appreciation of the world around us. The sense of touch carries data to our brain that interprets each stimulus. Using human contact, the sense of touch connects how we feel and communicate. Emotions are called feelings for this reason. All our senses tie into our emotions. I know that I had to get “in touch” with my inner core, my being, or what makes me tick, before I could successfully wage the battle against obesity. Staying in touch helped me along my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
I now have a deeper feeling when I say or hear the words, “I will control my emotions, not let my emotions control me…”
I truly hope you enjoy reading this blog and others in the series “A Sense-ble Look at Healthy Living.” For both my sake and yours, let’s stay in touch.
This is part 6 of the multipart series, “A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living.” In my next blog, we’ll look to the human sense of stretch receptors.