One simple exercise can release facial tension, neck tension, and back tension

Gentle, moving touch can be combined with slow movement for deep release: An exploration of the 5th cranial, or trigeminal nerve.

Video #3 in my series exploring the 5th cranial, or trigeminal nerve.

Gentle touch has a different affect than manipulation or massage. Read on to find out why!

My niece Audrey, when she was little, loved being slowly, gently stroked on her arms and back on the spots covered by very fine hair. She was very clear about exactly how how and where I should touch. She would calm down, curl up a little, and fall asleep so sweetly as the touch took effect. I loved it, and so did she, but I had no idea why it was so soothing.

Later on, my work with dermatome mapping and cranial nerve sequencing proved again how powerful this kind of touch can be, especially when it comes to the trigeminal nerve with it’s three branches that bring sensation to your jaw, face, and skull . Touching a person’s face is so intimate – and if you look closely, you will see that your face is covered in fine, fine hair, which is important as it turns out!

Your face has some of the most sensitive skin to be found anywhere on your body, and that’s why a gentle caress there is so powerful. This week’s video combines gentle touch with slow movement in such a way that your whole back body will release – from the tip of your nose, around the back of your skull, all the way down the back of your legs to your feet.

Gentle, moving touch is described by scientists as being “affective” because it stimulates our “emotional touch” system, which is different than “discriminative touch.” Systems are composed of inter-related parts. There are six major kinds of sense receptors in your skin that combine in different ways to create these two systems.

A special kind of sense receptor called C – afferent, or tactile fibers is resposivle for gentle, moving touch. C – tactile fibers are found in highest concentration in skin that has hair. Scientist hypothesize that’s probably because they are stimulated by affectionate grooming behavior among primate relatives. 

“CT fibers convey a more emotional quality of touch, rather than the conscious (discriminating) aspect that allows us to describe what we are sensing.” – Francis McGlone

These fibers also play a key role in the sense of body ownership – something that is elusive to measure, but which correlates with recovery from anorexia and other body distortion syndromes. My personal story affirms this, as my recovery from an eating disorder seems to have been precipitated by my early AT experiences which involved gentle, full contact touch with no pressure or manipulation. Touch helped me re-integrate sensation and emotion, transforming my state of being into one of empowerment and more positive choices for myself over time.

I dream of a world where we all get as much of this kind of touch as we need! Please share this with anyone you know whose been feeling tight and anxious – and check out my Cranial Nerve Sequencing offer or book a 15 minute free consult if you would like to connect.

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