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/she bursts into delight as for “getting it right”, or when they snuggle in to be held? The neuroscience study of empathy in human relationship involves all of these.… 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.
Research on the effects of meditation on the brain has taken off in the last 40 years. Neuroscientists, psychologists and meditators are all collaborating to make the benefits clear. For example, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center has enrolled over 20,000 people in their Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs. These benefit both the body and the brain. (See more about Mind-Body Research and Massage here.)
I first heard about meditation benefits in the early 1970’s.… Read the rest