Surviving vs Thriving

BtBprofilepic-300x158Touching and breathing are of the most primal functions in the human body. The body simply cannot stay alive without these nourishing elements. Each of us intuitively knows that we cannot survive without breathing. {I dare you to see how long you can hold your breath without becoming overwhelmed by your body’s desire for another breath cycle}. When the body cannot ingest and expel air, the body we inhabit dies.

So, we experientially understand how vital our breathing is. What is it about touch though? The primacy of touch is a bit less intuitive and less understood. You might be thinking to yourself, “I’m living right now and I’m not being touched!”. True. But, as an infant, in order for you to have made it this far in life, you had to have been thoroughly cared for and touched (Psychogenic Disease in Infancy – Touch DeprivationHarlow’s Studies on Dependency in Monkeys). The only way to communicate affection to you was through primordial physical contact. Your body, your heart, your mind, and your spirit needed to know that somebody loved you. As an adult, a sense of touch (giving and receiving) is still required just as much as when you were an infant. Non-verbal non-sexual touch is as nourishing an element as oxygen and breathing.

Touch Makes the Body Feel Good

Consensual touch allows for the body to surpass simple survival; it provokes the body to THRIVE.  Touch is the electricity that feeds your nervous system. Your nervous system contains a neural information network that informs you of your internal and external states. Our bodies are constantly rewiring themselves moment-to-moment, nanosecond-to-nanosecond.  Neuroplasticity is what gives our bodies the ability to evolve towards its highest potential. When we touch others, we simultaneously become touched. These ‘separate’ neuronal networks begin an intimate connection that directs the body to communicate, intertwine, and synchronize with this new nervous system. The next time you have a hug really sink into your body and simply notice. Notice your sensations. Notice your breath.

Animals also have these same primal needs for touch and breath. Observe your pets when you return home from being away. The moment you enter their space they are ecstatically gesturing and demanding to be touched. The same goes for us humans. After all, we are simply conscious self-aware animals. However, because we are self-aware, it seems as if we have stopped expressing our fundamental animal desires. If only we still had our tails! Then it would tell our tale for us.

The nourishment of touch has been undervalued and under-expressed in our society.

Come join us at Beyond the Bedroom Event 2013 where we will be pairing conscious touch and sacred breath in a yab-yum partner breathing practice. This will be a place where you can give and receive the nourishment that our bodies crave while being in a safe, clean, and loving environment. If you want to learn more about the connection between breathing and touch, Joseph’s class is titled: “Sacred Breath; Partner-Based Practice”.

Author: Joseph Marti