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The Clothes on Your Back: Why Touch is Important!

By Rohan @rohanforsale

The Creation of Man by Michelangelo Sistine ChapelCarrying on from my last post about Living Like a Millionaire which focused on sight, this post’s sense is that of touch. For one reason or another our own personal, physical comfort is often brushed over as unimportant or secondary to the work, cleaning, kids, relationships, and other such duties we encounter in our daily lives. In many cases, sadly, our superficial appearance is also considered to be of more importance than our tactile satisfaction. Giving thought to how our clothes feel on our skin, whether or not our shoes are suitable for our feet and where and how we sit or lie down is vitally important, and can make a huge difference to our overall sense of health and happiness.

Sure there are cases of the ascetic monks and priests throughout the ages who purposely practiced living in discomfort as part of the their mission. But but for the rest of us I’d say it’s time to stop and think about how we can make our environment just a little more comfortable and pleasing to the touch, and to start getting the benefits of doing so!

The Clothes do not Make The Man…

I love my cashmere scarf, but my dad hates the stuff!

I love my cashmere scarf, but my dad can’ wear the stuff!

However the clothes can make the man (or woman) very uncomfortable, agitated, irritated and can even cause allergic reactions. Woolens in particular can be highly irritating and disturbing for certain people including those with sensitive skin or sinuses and some of those on the autism spectrum. Wool is known to cause rashes, excess sweating, exacerbate eczema and cause allergic reactions. Unfortunately many people justify wool despite the negative effects; “But it’s really warm/it’s a natural fiber/it breathes/it’s healthy” and they suffer on. I’ve heard stories of people finally dumping wool and feeling almost reborn! This is not an anti wool rant, in fact I personally am quite fond of woolen clothing. This is an anti-uncomfortable rant.

Yes, this is what I looked like when I wore my satin boxers...

Yes, this is what I looked like when I wore my satin boxers…

Another example is satin boxers. I wore satin boxer shorts as underwear for a good many years, probably from the age of 11 until 18. I hated them! They slid around, they rode up my butt and they didn’t deal well with hot weather conditions. It wasn’t until I got a pair of cotton boxers that I realized how much I disliked the satin ones. Needless to say, I’ve never gone back to satin. There are so many types of socks, shoes, underwear, trousers, undershirts, sweaters/jumpers, scarves, hats and coats, that there is just no reason to go on suffering. And even if you don’t feel like you’re suffering, try something new, you might find that you’ve been dealing with discomfort all your life! I’ve heard of those who suffer from high perspiration being utterly miserable (of course there nothing at all to be miserable about with a bit of extra sweat, there’s even those that like it!) until they discovered sleeveless shirts, and cotton shirts that breath and don’t suffocate.

Children and adults on the autism spectrum, and those who are simply more physically sensitive than others, can have particular trouble finding the right clothes for themselves. And parents of sensitive kids may become frustrated with their fussy children. However it really is worth putting in the time to find what works and feels best for yourself and your kids. You may take a hit in the “style” department, but hey, I’d always rather meet a happy dork than a great looking misery guts!

Sitting Pretty & Taking it Laying Down

Aww, yeah, totally worth 3 bucks!

Aww, yeah, totally worth 3 bucks!

While this has to do with posture, muscles and joints, as well as touch, our sitting habits are so important! Just the other day I bought a lower back support that can be popped on any seat, making it infinitely more comfortable and supportive. It only cost me 3 Euro! As you can imagine I do a lot of typing and the way my butt and back feels has a direct effect on the quality of my emotional state and the quality of my writing


She knows what she likes.

She knows what she likes.

The same goes for laying down. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to invest in a good memory foam pillow or mattress which can make a world of difference to certain people. I don’t believe there is a “best” way to sit or lay down, everyone’s body is a little different (remember the three bears?). However there is definitely an optimum seating and laying arrangement for each person. Whether it is a futon  a memory foam mattress, a hard mattress or a soft one, it’s a good idea to find one that really feels good to sleep in over an extended period of time. Whether sitting or lying, take some time to look at areas where improvements can be made, it needn’t cost a fortune.

Getting Sensual

Hands massaging beautiful women

Gotta love those four armed masseurs.

The last third of this post is nowhere near big enough to describe in detail the many benefits of massage. Those who’ve enjoyed a good rub can attest to it’s power, and those who haven’t will just have to take my word for it until they can get out and get one! Of course paying for a professional rub is a great experience, however even a friend or partner can provide a very nice massage with a little study and practice. And even if you can’t find anyone willing to rub you down, any part of your body that you can reach with your hands can be self massaged! Yes it’s a real thing. Any form of physical touch and targeted rubbing and massaging of the skin and muscle brings our focus and attention to our body and helps greatly with embodiment and dealing effectively with symptoms of dissociation. Becoming embodied is crucial for those suffering with trauma, and can be very healing and rewarding even for those who are not.

As well as embodiment and the sheer pleasure of a nice rub, massage is known to have beneficial effects on the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous and respiratory systems and is great for our skin and digestion! Oh and it reduces stress and anxiety

Money is no excuse, we can all do it ourselves!

Touching Up Our Lives

Comfort is important.

Comfort is important.

Increasingly in this modern age we are becoming less and less embodied. We do this by exposing ourselves to copious amounts of real and simulated violence and shocking material, and we also do it by spending more and more time in front of screens and engaged with devices that virtually take us out of our body. Psychologists, trauma therapists and philosophers like Peter Levine and Eugene Gendlin have dedicated much of their professional life to the study of this. Their basic conclusion is that in order to enjoy much of what life has to offer, we must take care of our bodies. We must get in touch with our innate, intuitive bodily wisdom. We must be conscious of our comfort, to release trauma through embodiment and to be totally present in the moment as physical creatures. Whether we like it or not this body is our vehicle here on Earth and it’s the only one we get!

The millionaires know how to take care of their tactile needs, and with a little thought we too can be as comfortable as we like


What do you do to make yourself comfortable?

Thanks for reading, all the best!


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