June 25th, 2010
Are you more likely to lapse into sweet, cozy sleep resting under a warm blanket or a sheet of galvanized tin? Is it a big surprise that our sense of touch directly communicates with our body-mind of emotions and thoughts? Here in the west our allopathic medical system’s understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and experience has been limited at best, but it looks like we’re broadening our horizons.
Medical fields like psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have recognized for a number of decades now that humans are an awesome bio-dynamic web of interacting neurons, emotions, sensations, feelings, thoughts, disease, and health. Michel Odent’s “Primal Health” perspective similarly recognizes that the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems of the body are not separate, distinct entities but rather a beautiful symphonic concert of neurochemicals, emotions, and experiences.
Science is now confirming what instinctive mothers have been doing for tens of thousands of years. Babies, like adult humans, have a biological, emotional, and social need to receive our loving touch. By recognizing and responding to babies’ biological needs, we are honoring their complete emotional and physical dependence upon us a mothers and parents. We are not “creating dependence” as many outdated obedience/punitive oriented parenting dynamics would have espoused decades ago. We are opening our eyes to the fact that our babies are born dependent and that their basic biological needs are all bundled up with their emotional and social needs. Love on your babies mamas. Hold them. Snuggle them. Wear them. Stroke them. Kiss them. Squeeze them.
“Published June 24 in Science, the study is the latest addition to a booming field of embodied cognition, which over the last decade has scientifically eroded the notion that mind and body are distinctly separate.
The way people understand the world is through physical experiences. The first sense they develop is touch,” said study co-author Josh Ackerman, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology psychologist. As they grow up, those physical experiences shape how people conceptualize abstract, social experience, he said.
The tactile sensation is extremely important early in development. The idea that other associations would be built on that makes intuitive sense,” said Franklin & Marshall College psychologist Michael Anderson, who was not involved in the study. “Brain regions that may initially have been dedicated to one particular task, turn out to contribute to multiple tasks……” Sense of Touch Shapes Snap Judgments | Wired.com.