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Communication in a relationship is incomplete without touch just like an eye contact or smile. In fact, touch can establish, repair or even ruin a relationship.
Your mind, brain, and body are not separate from each other. Touch is the first sense you acquire, it is the fastest way to create chemistry and bonding in a relationship.
Being touched and touching someone is a fundamental to a relationship. Even in its absence. Touch is a language you learn instinctively; and one you underestimate in your ability to communicate through.
It is more versatile than communicating vocally, through tonality, linguistically, or through your facial movements and other non verbal expressions of emotion.
Touch can communicate a myriad of emotions such as joy, love, desire, attraction, gratitude, and sympathy, as well as anger, fear, sorrow and disappointment. Touch is reciprocal you cannot touch without being touched. It is mutually given and received.
Oxytocin is a hormone that increases feelings of connectedness and wellbeing.
Chemistry between two people can be heightened by Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. It can create feelings of trust and attraction between people when released.
This chemical is abundant at the start of a ‘romantic’ relationship. The connection may not be based in a conscious realtionship but a ‘felt’ or ‘perceived’ one.
When you are touched, your body produces oxytocin, the hormone of love and attachment. The hormone oxytocin can help you to form and maintain a connection. Everyone needs touch, without touch you may suffer feeling disconnected, lonely or depressed.
People with low or insufficient oxytocin can become depressed and more susceptible to stress or vulnerable to addictive relationships, behaviours and habits.
When you are in a loving intimate relationship, physical touch can communicate and express feelings of love, tenderness, care, play, trust and respect. It is fundamental to creating a healthy relationship. Its absence it can create and communicate a lack of trust, desire or love, it can create distance and discord. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone.
When you touch or are touched your oxytocin levels increase. Your heart rate slows. It acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain playing a huge role in bonding and attachment.
Oxytocin gets released during light caresses, during sexual intimacy and orgasm, or when you share experiences through talking or being present or being in the presence of. When oxytocin is released it increases feelings of attachment for another person, as well as feelings of trust and empathy. It can decrease feelings of stress, fear and pain.
If your early childhood environment felt unsafe or you had difficult relationships with parents, you may find it hard to harness the positive effects of oxytocin and forming secure attachments. Touch is an important part of feeling loved and accepted.
Your response to oxytocin is affected by your relationships to your parents. What did you learn about touch? Was it reassuring? Did you grow up in a strict household? Were you punished with touch? Touch can very be confusing
If you experienced inappropriate touch or sexual or physical violence it may contribute to difficulties in forming healthy and loving relationships. It may have a negative impact on your romantic and intimate relationships in the ‘here and now’ until you shift through and gain some awareness and understanding. Long-term changes to your attachment and relational styles are possible. It requires a commitment and wilful intent to make a transition. Working with a skilled Mind Body psychotherapist can help you navigate through the opportunities for growth. If you had difficult relationships with your parents, your brain will have a tendency to react to relationships in a particular way. It creates a neural pathway.
Through awareness of your responses you have the power to take the first step towards transformation. Touch can reveal a lot of deal information about and the person you are touching. You can gain insight into their state of mind and being.
Are you open to touch or do you pull away? Are you relaxed or tense? Are you warm or do you feel cold or clammy? When you touch someone can you sense tension or relaxation? Do you disconnect? Or do you experience rage?
This information can guide your relationships, it can influence what you think, how you respond, or how hear what someone is saying. Each person you meet will have a different tolerance level for touch. Same-sex or opposite-sex touches have different implications. The type of touch its the duration, intensity and circumstances. Touch is something that develops in the context of a relationship.
You will have absorbed messages about being touched whilst growing up and developing as an adult. Many Religions, social and cultural conditioning teach that touch is ‘inappropriate’ or ‘sinful’. This will affect your attitudes towards touching and being touched. Is touch safe? Do you deserve to experience pleasure? Do you sexualise touch? Your tolerance and receptivity for touch can change and increase. Setting your intentions and putting into practice your learning, awareness and reflections with a skilled therapist can help you navigate the journey.
Ken Wilbur wrote in The Spectrum of Consciousness, “For every mental ‘problem’ or ‘knot’, there is a corresponding bodily ‘knot’, and vice versa. The body and the mind are connected Any conflict, feelings or guilt, shame, or unresolved grief can be held in the body. The body has a memory, when you are deeply touched through massage or manipulation or through body work it can release physical pain and previously make inaccessible or unresolved material accessible and therefore available for healing. The Body Knows Its Mind, it has an intelligence of its own, the body speaks when you do not have words for what you are feeling. A warm touch can be a healing balm for the soul and release held emotion freeing you up to experience life in a different way.
Living from The Heart works with your Life Force Energy, which is held in the body. To promote your health and wellness. Life Force Energy is known as Qi or Chi in Chinese, Prana in Sanskrit. It describes the flow of energy that sustains all living beings. I help people learn how to focus, use, and move this energy, by combining various breathing, meditative and energy awareness exercises for a wide range of benefits. This can facilitate your body’s healing process.
The higher your oxytocin, the higher your happiness and well-being.
The next Living from The Heart retreat will guide you through a process of deep restoration through mind / body techniques that will help you shift stress states into vitality and help you find balance to further cultivate your healing journey. Why go on a retreat?
Join me on Restoring the Mind and Body Retreat 29th – 31st January 2016 Early Bird Booking per person if you book before 31st November 2015 References: Wilber, Ken The Spectrum of Consciousness (Quest Books) Paperback 18 Apr 1996
Communication in a relationship is incomplete without touch just like an eye contact or smile. In fact, touch can establish, repair or even ruin a relationship. Images from stills from Shura Touch video
Awareness of your physical body can help you tap into your emotional self, shifting your focus from outside to inside.
Your mind / body is a direct reflection of your emotional body. Listen to your body and respond accordingly – if you feel tired take time out to relax. If you have an abundance of energy use your body, if you feel a creative pull go and create something paint, write, draw, and move.
Feelings are experienced in your body; an awareness of your bodily state can enhance your ability to identify your feelings.
Practice: Make a scan of your body, Sitting or lying down in a comfortable position (savasana is corpse pose lying flat on the ground arms by your side legs about hip width apart.), take a moment to consciously take in several deep breathes and relax. Close your eyes and bring your focus to this present moment and your physical self. There is no need to try to do anything – just be present and passive. If you need to move to get more comfortable do so if you feel the need to tense a certain body part in order to let go of tension then do whatever brings greater comfort and ease. Begin scanning your body by drawing your attention to any part of your body that asks for attention. Beginning perhaps with your head, face, jaw, eyes, ears, and skull. Tune in to what is happening here. What do you notice? Do your best to remain as passive and non-judgmental as possible. You are encouraged to become an objective observer of your experience. At the same time, carefully observe your head, both deep inside and on a surface level. If you notice tension, tightness or contracted muscles, consciously release and relax those areas.
As you feel ready, progress down to your neck, shoulders upper and lower arms and torso. Again, notice what is happening in your heart. Carefully observe your back, spine and chest area, both deep inside them and on the surface. Again, if you notice tension, tightness or contracted muscles, consciously release and relax those areas. Progress now to your abdomen and notice what is occurring here. From there, move on to your lower abdomen, hips, pelvis, buttocks and thighs. Next, focus on your legs and feet. Once you have finished focus on your hands and fingers. Finish this exercise by taking a few more deep breaths and turning your awareness back to your entire physical self, which includes all of the parts on which you have been focusing.
Living from the Heart:
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Aisha Ali is a much sought after relationship specialist. She is known for her intuitive insight, she is very skilled at getting to the core of issues and helping individuals and couples transform unwanted repeated patterns. Her clients experience support clarity, awareness and a sense of peace, balance and accomplishment.