Did you know your skin is an extension of the surface of your brain? It develops from the same embryonic layer and remains intimately connected via the nervous system forever more. You can’t touch the body without directly contacting your brain. It’s like the keyboard which connects the outside world to your mainframe – the most sophisticated computer in existence.
Why is this important?
The sensations created by touch are one of your brain’s primary sources of information. Your skin provides your brain with information about the conditions inside and outside of your body, alerting your brain to any issues that arise. However, many of these messages get muted.
Most of us mistreat our skin – we eat poorly and slather it with harsh chemical ingredients, we deprive it of stimulation by limiting our activities to a fairly narrow range and we put barriers between our skin and the outside world in the form of buildings, shoes and clothing. Yes, we need some of these things some of the time, but we can create a better line of communication between our skin and brain.
The clearer and more detailed the message that our skin sends to our brain, the more information you have to work with.
To get a direct experience of what I’m suggesting, give some of these a try: knitting with gloves on, running on a treadmill vs going for a run outside, walking in shoes on the grass vs going barefoot.
You should feel an obvious difference in doing all of these activities and have a direct understanding of the role your skin plays in communicating with your brain.
How can you upgrade the communication bandwidth? Here are 3 great ways to get started:
- Take good care of your skin. Drink clean water and a lot of it ! Eat healthy organic foods, in particular look for high antioxidant fruits and veggies, vitamin C, good oils and proteins. Try berries, green tea, avocados, olive and coconut oil and raw soaked nuts or high quality animal protein. Know and avoid your allergens and exfoliate regularly with a dry brush or salt scrub and nourish your skin with pure coconut oil.
- Up your stimulation and remove the barriers. Skip the gym and go outside for your exercise. Wear shorts and a t-shirt to feel all the sensations on your skin like the warm sunshine, the gentle breeze or shrubs brushing up against your legs. Whenever possible, go barefoot in your house as well as outside. Stop virtually living on your computer and go for a swim in a lake or in the ocean. Your skin and brain will come alive!
- Get good input. Take the time to get bodywork from a good practitioner. Think of this as intensive stimulation, remembering that skin to skin contact is a direct communication and information exchange with your brain so choose consciously what you want to receive. Structural Integration, acupuncture, a loving massage from your partner can all have a profoundly positive effect on your brain, skin and nervous system.
It’s time to start loving the skin you’re in. Your brain will thank you and you might just have some fun along the way.