Somebody Hold Me

There’s a wonderful Kickstarter coming to a close today for a book called Somebody Hold Me. Epiphany Jordan (great name, right?) and her crew in Austin have started a touch practice, allowing people who don’t have enough contact in their lives to experience non-sexual, loving, and playful touch. I’m a big fan of this, asContinue reading “Somebody Hold Me”

The Christmas miracle of expectations

It’s Christmas Eve today, for those who celebrate the holiday, and at this time of year, there’s often talk of miracles. I don’t generally go in for that sort of thing, but I do go in for wonder, curiosity, and the excitement that discoveries having nothing to do with the supernatural can bring. This week,Continue reading “The Christmas miracle of expectations”

Dartmouth suggests more research on body-mind therapies!

A number of sources over the past few days are reporting a recommendation from Dartmouth investigators Peter Payne, SEP, and Mardi Crane-Godreau, PhD, in the journal Frontiers in Psychology that body/mind therapies such as Somatic Experiencing be subjected to more rigorous scientific research to examine their efficacy in the treatment of trauma. I am aContinue reading “Dartmouth suggests more research on body-mind therapies!”

Rewiring your brain out of pain

When I was about 17 years old, I remember getting sunburned on my face. I particularly hurt on the skin around and under my eyes, but being out with family at the pool in the complex where my grandmother lived, I needed to hang out for a bit longer. I was reading a book –Continue reading “Rewiring your brain out of pain”

Listening to your heart may be more literal than you think

A man in Brazil, having received a cardiac implant, found – not all that surprisingly – that his body image shifted: he had the odd feeling off having a heart in his belly rather than his chest. But rather more surprisingly, the introduction of the implant “seemed to have markedly altered certain social and emotionalContinue reading “Listening to your heart may be more literal than you think”

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”

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”

Why does music make us cry?

Everyone knows how a song can open us to emotion.  Most of us probably have songs that make us cry, songs that make us nostalgic for our youth, songs that make it impossible not to dance.  And as we go into the holiday season, there are doubtless songs that make us homicidal, particularly the onesContinue reading “Why does music make us cry?”

How our brains and bodies work together to create empathy

Photo by Fer Kazalz Two new studies in neuroscience, revealed at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience earlier this month, show the ways our bodies respond to and mirror other people’s emotional states. I’ve written a bit here about empathy and emotional mirroring, and how powerful our bodies can be at not just recognizingContinue reading “How our brains and bodies work together to create empathy”