The Power of TouchHeidi Hadley
In a society where we are becoming more focused on technology and having virtual conversations, it has resulted in the powerful and beneficial effects of touch becoming affected. As we become better connected with technology, we are becoming less connected physically which is leading to the epidemic of loneliness.
In today’s blog we are going to discover the power of touch and how important it is for our somatic health and wellbeing.
The Power of Touch
When was the last time you had a good bear hug? When did you last take time out to pamper your amazing mind and body? Psychologists are always highlighting the importance of touch, however this area is being overlooked as we continue to move towards what is becoming a very ‘distant’ world physically. Touch is soothing and nurturing. It is the language which increases bonding thanks to the release of the ‘cuddle’ hormone, Oxytocin. Touch also activates the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain which is linked with feelings of empathy and reward. As a result of these emotions, we become less cynical and suspicious of people and develop a more optimistic and inviting manner. As a result of all these sensations and emotions happening from the power of touch, cortisol levels decrease and this can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It can stimulate immune function, lower blood pressure, reduce pain, accelerate the healing process time post surgery or illness. When cortisol levels drop it improves gut health and helps with cognitive function.
Trauma and Touch
When a person has experienced serious trauma and pain, their subconscious mind begins to relive the event over and over. Even if they think they have moved on, flashbacks and similar fearful emotions will appear. When traumatic events of memories are reintroduced into their mind, their body also goes into full protection and self preservation mode. As a result, the person will freeze and hold tension within their body. They are held captive to subconscious actions. As with many issues discussed within my blogs, it is always advisable to see a health care practitioner for any long standing mental health issues to ensure you receive a personalised health plan.
Within my clinical practice and my online program, I discuss in detail the power of touch and teach you how to release deep subconscious muscle tension created by habitual stress responses. A large portion of your sensory motor cortex or brain map covers the regions of your hands, fingers and arms. When we consider how our brain is designed, we can use this to our advantage. Over the years, I have often said to clients that our hands are like a second pair of eyes, so using them in our somatic movement practice is really important to sense and feel what is happening within our soma.
By using our hands and creating subtle stimulation to specific areas, such as the abdomen, we can help to enhance the movement and actions within that area. Also when we allow our hands to rest on an area of our body and notice the movement or lack of, it helps us to understand why muscle pain and poor mobility have been a recurring issue for so long. When we are stressed, anxious or have experienced a traumatic event, we can become very ‘cerebral.’ We are able to reason things and can intellectualise very easily, however, to actually stop, sense and feel what is happening on a deeper level is something we may not have allowed ourselves to do for a very long time because we have lived in a survival situation. We have conditioned our self to think fast and act quickly instead of stopping, slowing down and allowing time to notice and be mindful.
Self touch is so powerful and is a fantastic way to release stored emotion which presents itself in tense, tight muscles. People who have experienced stress and trauma don’t always realise how much emotion they have stored in their body and how it is affecting them on so many levels. The human mind and body are amazing and is always looking for ways to heal. So when we stop and learn how to let go and allow our body to release this stored tension, we can start living with improved health, peace and calmness for our soma.
Interestingly, as a side note, the use of weighted blankets has increased in recent years as a method to help ease anxiety. The power of touch and pressure in this area has been shown to have many health benefits. Due to the tactile nature of weighted blankets and the deep touch pressure, it has shown to reduce cortisol levels and increase the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. To read more on this subject, check out the article https://www.weightedblanketguides.com/benefits-stress-anxiety/
Applying the knowledge you have gained about your amazing mind and body, let's start using your hands to improve your own mind and body communication. With the skills and knowledge I teach you within The Total Somatics Approach to Health & Wellness Online Program, you can start to understand on a deeper and more subtle level, exactly how your nervous system is controlling other body systems and organs. When you apply these techniques into your somatic movement practice and every day activities, you will see how you can accelerate your understanding of what is happening, by using larger portions of your brain’s 'real estate.' As a result of this self care practice, you will improve your posture, which in turn affects your emotions, gut and reproductive health, reduce pain, increase mobility, heighten your skills of mindfulness and stimulate the hormones of oxytocin (self care/nurturing) and serotonin (happy/upbeat).
Would you like to feel a sense of calm from the inside out? Would you like to understand why you react in certain ways, creating the same stress response every time? Would you like to dial down the stress response in your mind and body which continues to create muscle tension for you? Would you like to learn these skills in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you? Allow me to teach you these skills. Teaching workshops and classes to people around the world has helped me to fine tune and streamline a huge subject. Somatics is more than just movement. I have seen many people over the years perform somatic movements and yet they still have recurring issues. That is because following videos of somatic movement will not get to your root cause. Within my comprehensive online program , you will learn on a deeper level why Somatic movement is only one component. Like any good meal, a combination of ingredients creates a wonderful product. Likewise, Somatic movement is one ingredient in a recipe. When it is mixed and blended with other ingredients, it creates a global or Total Somatic Approach to Health & Wellness. It is only then that you can start to make positive changes and progress.
Allow me to teach you what many around the world have embraced into their daily activities to create a Total Somatic Approach to Health & Wellness.
To learn more, check out my FREE EBOOK by clicking HERE.
Heidi Hadley xx