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Graduate Resources Module 1

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Touch, The Brain & Rotation of Consciousness

The information and stimulation we receive from touch is sent to 2 separate regions of the brain.  The primary somatosensory cortex, which receives the tactile information only; pressure, speed, texture, etc., and the posterior insula. The posterior insula transmits the emotional relationship to the touch and creates the story around the sensation.  

For example; If you are watching a romantic movie with your partner and they reach over and caress your arm, the emotion tied to that touch will be of positive affect.  If you are in the middle of an argument, that same arm caress is going to feel totally different & rather inappropriate.  So depending on the situation you are in, the touch will be felt emotionally different by the Insula.  The Somatosensory Cortex only registers the touch physically, and does not trigger a biochemical change (emotion). 

When we rotate consciousness through our body in a yoga nidra practice, the region of the brain that lights up in accordance to touch is the somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobe, the insula stays quiet.  Being in a deep state of relaxation with the nervous system in a parasympathetic response and the brain wave frequency in a low alpha or even theta state, we are provided with the perfect platform to explore the body with no story or emotional charge. 

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