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The science of touch

The science of touch
- Oct 13, 2021

There is a deep biological connection between our sense of touch and our emotional wellbeing. Incidental gestures throughout the day — the touch of a hand, a loving hug, a cuddle with a furry friend — are much more profound than just that.  

Touch is a powerful sense that changes how we feel. Evolutionarily, it is the most important way that mammals communicate safety to one another [1-11]. Different forms of touch (vibration, electricity, heat, cold, soothing massage, etc) can change how we feel in ways that can be measured biologically. Extensive reports demonstrate that certain frequencies of vibration are found to be soothing and significantly increase parasympathetic tone, as measured by heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV), while others can be more energizing, increasing our heart rate and other measures of sympathetic activity [12, 13-26].

Your brain on touch

When you touch something, the touch receptors in your skin send a signal to the center of the brain, and that signal branches in two directions. One branch is your somatosensory cortex, the part that characterizes if the touch is soft, rough, slow, fast, hot, cold. The other branch is the emotional cortex, the part that associates emotion with touch.

Touch stimulates nerve endings that talk to the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, our nervous systems slow down as our heart rate and blood pressure decrease. Simply put, increased vagal activity acts like a brake on a body’s stress response. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that has sensory and motor functions.

This explains why a bear hug from a loved one changes everything on a tough day. Or how a cuddle with a furry friend is the antidote to stress. 

Touch releases oxytocin, also known as the feel good hormone, that is released during sex. All of this to say, touch is good for us, and the term skin hunger has earned a place in our vocabulary, for good reason. 

When you feel Apollo Neuro, you feel more than just vibration. Apollo Neuro works by sending low-frequency, silent sound waves to your nervous system. 


Through your touch receptors, Apollo tells your nervous system that “you’re safe” and your body responds to the message like it would to a hug, a bubble bath, or a good snuggle (with a pet or human). These tiny but powerful vibrations activate the parasympathetic nervous system, getting out of fight-or-flight and into rest-and-digest. 

With a rebalanced nervous system, you relax into a calmer state, and your biometrics, like heart rate variability (HRV), begin to improve. When you use Apollo over time, your nervous system gets stronger and more resilient, so you tap into the calmer version of you more easily..  

References

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