One of my favourite albums from the 70s was ‘Touch me in the Morning’ by Diana Ross.
Touch is one of our Five Senses.
Whilst the other four (sight, hearing, smell, and taste) are located in specific parts of the body, the sense of touch is found all over.
Touch originates in the bottom layer of your skin (the dermis) , which is filled with tiny nerve endings carrying information about the things your body comes in contact with to the spinal cord, which in turn sends messages to the brain where the feeling is registered. The speed of that message is phenomenal.
Our skin is the body’s largest organ, but don’t worry, I’m not going to get into a biology lesson, neither am I going to list secret sensitive parts of the human anatomy (that my friends is something which varies per individual and more fun to find out for yourselves) .
The whole body feels.
You are able to tell when something is hot (it hurts) , or cold (it chills) , if something is soft, smooth and silky or coarse, rough and bumpy.
If you touch your hand with one finger, have you ever wondered whether it is the hand or the finger generating the signal to the brain? I have, and decided that there must be a difference in our body sensors to ‘touch’ and ‘being touched’.
I’m no scientist, but I know things I like to touch and those I don’t.
When preparing a meal, I’m uncomfortable touching raw meats so wash my hands often when working in the kitchen, but it’s not an obsession thank goodness.
On the flip side, being ticklish isn’t always a pleasant sensation whereas being sensitive usually is.
I have heard musicians make their instruments ‘talk’ : Brian May, James Galway, Vanessa Mae, Hank Marvin to name but a few. For myself, I found electric organs and keyboards frustrating because most were not ‘touch sensitive’ and no matter how a note was struck, it was always the same. One of the most pleasurable things for me with my music was the ‘feeling’ I put into each piece which was relayed from my brain into my hands to the tips of my fingers and the keys.
However, I am not a tactile, touchy-feely huggy type person as a rule, especially around strangers or casual acquaintances, and feel awkward being on the receiving end (Hubby and family accepted) .
Saying that though, the touch of another human being, or the unconditional love we get from our pets when they snuggle close, is reassuring when we are feeling fraught, uncertain or anxious.
The other day we met up with a fellow dog walker and she was uptight about a variety of things which on their own would not have had any effect. I said she needed a hug and against the norm as above, gave her one. We walked and talked for a while, and she was able to get things back in perspective.