The human body is a marvel of creation, a perfect system of interconnected parts that function together to help us survive and thrive. While each sense is crucial to our well-being, none is more important than our sense of touch.
The Lessons From Our Sense of Touch
Touch is often taken for granted, and its importance is overlooked, but it is a critical part of human development. From infancy to adulthood, touch helps us to learn about the world around us and to make sense of our environment. In the first months of life, a baby’s sense of touch helps it feel comforted, secure, and loved.
As we grow and mature, our sense of touch helps us to understand our surroundings in a more detailed way. We learn about textures, temperature, and pain, all crucial to keeping us safe and healthy. For example, if we accidentally tap a hot stove, the sensation of heat and pain quickly teaches us to avoid touching it again.
Moreover, our sense of touch can also alert us to potential health problems that must be addressed. You check for lumps, bumps, or any irregularities in our bodies using the sense of touch. Regular self-examinations can detect skin changes, helping identify potential problems early on.
Forming Meaningful Connections
Our sense of touch also helps us to build connections with others. Hugs, kisses, and other forms of physical affection help to release the hormone oxytocin, which has been linked to bonding, trust, and social connections.
Many connections are first made through touch. Handshakes, petting an animal, high fives– a lot of cultural touchstones are literally based on touch! This is especially important for young infants, who experience many of their connections through early developmental stages. Babies and mothers should have many hours of skin-to-skin contact to help the baby develop familial bonds and regulate their nervous system.
A Sense of Self Through Touch
Our sense of touch is essential in keeping us safe and healthy. From the moment we are born to our adult lives, contact is critical for our development, sense of connection, and overall well-being. As humans, we should be more mindful of the power of our ability to touch, appreciating its value and ensuring we use it to stay healthy, happy, and safe.
We form ourselves through the necessary sense of touch. Like the other embodided alchemies of senses, touch aids in out development and ability to understand the world around us. Touch plays a fundamental role in shaping our perception of reality, from the moment we are born.
Without touch, how would we know what a babbling brook felt like? How would we understand the way the sun warms us in the summer? Or how the winter wind will chill us? The warm embrace of a loved one, the gentle caress of a hand, or the feeling of grass beneath our feet can evoke powerful emotions that help to ground us and connect us to the present moment. Through touch, we can communicate our emotions and connect with others on a deep and meaningful level. Find the connections yourself using all the embodied alchemy of your senses.