Skin, The Sense of Touch and More. How Skin Senses Touch

 

“A touch isn’t just a touch. It’s a kiss from the soul, onto the skin” . . . .

The words above made me think about how our skin interprets the sense of touch.  It’s mind-boggling if you think deeply into it. One thing I realized is that our skin’s health is so much more than addressing dry skin or aging. It’s deeper than that.

Our skin is the door to feeling touch. How?

RECEPTORS: Your skin has many types of receptors in your body, they are grouped in three categories 1) Thermoreceptors, that do what?  2) Nociceptors, that do what? and 3) Mechanoreceptors, that do what?

Each receptor is a structure that gathers information from the environment. That data is then changed into a signal that can be understood by your nervous system.  The receptors that let the body sense touch are located in the top layers of the skin (the dermis and epidermis). They are small in size and collect super accurate information when touched.  These receptors in the skin allow a person to feel sensations like pressure, pain, temperature and physical change like an object pressing firmly or just brushing against the skin. And of course. . .

Can these receptors transmit emotions and love? Well, there are two touch systems 1) discriminative touch and 2) emotional.  You can do some research to learn more about them if you like. What I have learned from my research is that touch can communicate tenderness, compassion, anger, love, gratitude, happiness and fear within mere seconds. Touch is a fundamental human need from the time we are born and essential for physical, emotional and social health and it all starts with your skin!

The importance of skin health becomes more visible as we age.  When we age our sense of touch starts to deteriorate because our skin is aging.  Aging skin becomes thinner, more fragile, and starts losing the protective fat layer giving an aging person skin disorders such as … Aging can affect the receptors and how they communicate. Our sense of touch, pressure, vibration and temperature control start to diminish.

Taking care of your skin at a younger age can keep it healthier effecting your health and happiness as you age.  Take the time to nurture your skin and celebrate your own sense of touch. Make it a part of your daily regime and lifestyle.

In her poem “A touch isn’t just a touch” Sarah L. Harvey writes about touch:  “It’s the sensation of one’s soul, whispering to one’s fingertips” Think about how touch influences your day.

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