Stand like Wonder Woman, and change your life

More research, this time out of Harvard Business School, is emerging around the ways in which body language, body position, and other clear, controllable physical actions can not only change the way others think and feel about us, but how we feel and think about ourselves. Amy Cuddy’s research showed a two-minute change in body postureContinue reading “Stand like Wonder Woman, and change your life”

Pain and pleasure as emotions

On a recent edition of Science Friday, I encountered an interview with neuroscientist Francis McGlone, whose research into touch-sensitive nerves has changed the landscape for how science understands touch in humans. It was already known that there are what might be called fast nerves and slow nerves. The first carry sensation to the brain inContinue reading “Pain and pleasure as emotions”

Fostering consent culture – making touch safe for kids and adults

My friend and colleague Christine Kraemer wrote over at the Patheos website recently about how desperately kids need touch – not just for emotional development, but literally for biological development – and how that touch is being systematically taken away in many school environments and elsewhere. More and more, non-parent adults are not allowed toContinue reading “Fostering consent culture – making touch safe for kids and adults”

How to get high on life. No, seriously.

This week I dug this post by Mark Sisson, ex-marathoner and current loud advocate of what he calls a Primal lifestyle. While his dietary recommendations only somewhat work for me, I really love his attitude, writing style and sense of humor, and keep returning to his blog for inspiration. Getting “high on life” may soundContinue reading “How to get high on life. No, seriously.”

Infants are sensitive to pleasant touch

The latest from the “but we knew that, right?” department: a study showing how infants process the sensation of “pleasant” touch – and how young they learn it. Touch is critical to human development, and in fact, as my friend Christine Kraemer pointed out, most baby mammals will die without it. Much writing has beenContinue reading “Infants are sensitive to pleasant touch”

Things Without (Shame)

I recently discovered the wonderful little comic, Things Without Arms and Without Legs (A Comic About Creatures Who Are Kind), and it delights me. But as adorable and lovely as they are all on their own, I was especially taken when I found this old post, about some favorite topics of mine: vulnerability and shame.Continue reading “Things Without (Shame)”

Watching music wake people up

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to do something wonderful with the Back Bay Chorale – a great volunteer chorus I’ve talked about here in the past.  Under the auspices of their new Bridges program, we have been visiting nursing homes and assisted living facilities in small groups, singing well-known songs to seniors inContinue reading “Watching music wake people up”

Today is World Listening Day

By chance on BBC this morning, I caught a story about the fact that today is World Listening Day, as established by the World Listening Project.  Given that the work I do has a strong basis in listening, and that in fact Ilana Rubenfeld’s book is called The Listening Hand…well, my ears perked up, soContinue reading “Today is World Listening Day”

A medical doctor writes an unconventional prescription for optimal health

What do you do when you’ve exhausted the possibilities of Western medicine, and you still feel exhausted, depressed, weakened, and in pain?  Listen to the messages of your body, says Dr. Lissa Rankin. In this article, she describes how she designed a radical new intake form for her patients, where the biggest question was, WhatContinue reading “A medical doctor writes an unconventional prescription for optimal health”

People into BDSM no longer considered mentally ill. Well it’s about time.

As reported by The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the makers of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly known as the DSM, has released its new edition (DSM-5).  In previous editions, paraphilias – a catch-all term for “unusual” sexual desires falling under the umbrella of fetishes, BDSM, or kink – were basically consideredContinue reading “People into BDSM no longer considered mentally ill. Well it’s about time.”