How does neuroscience relate to what makes a massage feel good? What actions by a friend, partner or counselor make you feel heard and acknowledged? What is happening inside a child as he bursts into delight as for “getting it right”, or when she snuggles in to be held? The neuroscience study of interpersonal “feeling better” whether by massage, validation, the touch of a friend, good parenting, the support of family or a therapy session is partly about empathy in human relationship.… Read the rest
Aline Newton, a Rolfer with many publications to her credit, has written the best post I’ve seen on the neuroscience of touch. Her main points, with my interpretation:
- Massage therapists and bodyworkers have long been aware of the power of touch to benefit our clients.
- Functional MRI’s show that touch influences mood, sensations, movements, thinking and learning capacities.
- The brain may have different responses to different kinds of touch, duration and depth, and more research is needed here.
Body-Mind Concepts to Train the Brain: Feedforward Principles
Feedforward in psychology or cognitive science is a way of learning new behaviors by projecting. It means that when we anticipate a goal–see it, visualize it, plan it–it facilitates movement or behavior towards that goal. It makes it easier to get where we want to go. It has been used in sports, for an autistic child to learn to prevent tantrums, as well as to retrain movement after stroke or spinal cord injury.… Read the rest