Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sensory IQ or Sensory Amnesia: You Get to Choose

Quick Sensory IQ Test for Feeling Great!

We each have five vital intelligences; physical, emotional, mental, moral, and spiritual. Each of these IQs can be measured, and more importantly, boosted.

Sensation is the language of the body. Mastering the four pillars of physical IQ; strength, flexibility, grace, and bearing, rest on your ability to sense your body. They fall into three main categories: pressure, temperature, & vibration.

Here’s your quick Sensory IQ test:

Sit or stand quietly for a moment.

How many different sensations can you feel right now?

One, two, three?


The more sensations you can focus on, the better to peak your physical, emotional, mental, moral, and spiritual IQs.

Here’s a wise tip: most of us get so busy with our lives we rarely notice any sensation at all. So if you’re tuned in to one or more you’re doing sensational!

Sense and Centering


Sensation is the language of the body; a language many of us have ignored for most of our lives. To feel the sensations of our bodies is to actually experience ourselves; raw, life coursing through us, present in the most immediate sense. The sensations of our bodies ALWAYS happen in present time. It’s impossible for our bodies to happen in the past, or in the present. That’s why Martha Graham, the great American dancer and choreographer, said, “The body never lies.” It is immediate truth. (The mind weaves the stories about what those sensations mean—pulling us out of the raw experience—and into past or present). Stories never happen in the present moment; they are creations of our thoughts.

Sensing meditations have been around since the Buddha. A fundamental part of Vipassana (Insight) mediation is focusing the mind, gently, on the sensations of the body. This takes our awareness away from the stream of thoughts and thinking and onto/into the present moment.

Here’s a very simple sensing exercise:

Sit completely relaxed and comfortable. Turn your attention to your feet. Notice the sensations of temperature, pressure, or vibration; the feel of your feet pressing against the floor; the sensation of fabric or temperature on your feet.

Sense your hips pressing against your seat; opening to the sensations of pressure, temperature, or vibration.

Sense your hands resting.

Sense your head balanced on your neck and shoulders.

Sense the air moving in and out of your nose and throat.

Sense your chest rising and falling with each breath.

Sense your belly moving as your breath moves in and out.

If you notice yourself thinking, instead of sensing, very gently focus your attention once again on your feet and start again.

Sensation: Language of the Body

Each one of these forty thousand qualities is a conscious element, distinct from all the rest, and altogether simple. Each one may be connected with others in various ways. A large part of psychology is taken up with the determination of the laws and conditions which govern the formation of these sensation complexes.

Organic Sensations: Total number--9

Muscle 2/Tendon 1/Joint 1

Alimentary Canal 3/Lungs 1/Sex organs 1

The Total Number of Elementary Sensations

More than 44,435

Elemental Sensations: Five senses

Organic Sensations: Bones, Joints, Tendons, Muscles, Lungs, Sex, Digestive track

Touch: 4 sensations

Pressure and Temperature:

Pressure: Light to hard

Temperature: Warm to Cold

Sight: Eye 32,820 (3 receptors in the retina)

Sensations of Brightness and color

Brightness—Light to Dark

Color—Full Spectrum

Hearing: 11, 600 Sensations

Tone or Noise:

Tone: ‘high’ and ‘low,’ ‘harsh’ and ‘clear,’ ‘shrill’ and ‘mellow;’ and we distinguish ‘thin’ tones from tones which posses ‘volume,’ etc.

Tone: musical scale: C#, E$, Bb, D2$, a5#,

Smell: Unknown number of possible smells:

191 receptors lie on a thumbnail-sized patch of tissue in the upper nasal passage.

(3 receptors in the retina create 31,000 sensations):

smell of a substance is determined by frequencies of vibration of its molecules

smells fall into groups of similar qualities, and that members of each group form graded series, like those in tone or brightness

Taste: Tongue 4

sweet, sour (acidic), bitter, and salt

Sensory IQ Meditation: Everybody Sense Your…

The Qualities of Sensation

Excerpts from The Qualities of Sensation

1. The Quality of Visual Sensations

The source of vision is light. Physical theory regards light as a wave movement in the ether with which space is filled. Light is either mixed or pure (homogeneous): it consists of waves of every possible length, traveling together; and pure if its waves are the same length. Mixed light always excites the sensation of brightness; a single pure light.

A. Sensations of Brightness—We have only kinds or qualities of brightness: black, white, grey, dark grey and light grey. The eye is found to be capable of distinguishing about 660 brightness qualities, varying from the deepest black to the most brilliant white.

B. Sensations of Color—The colors of the solar spectrum are named red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo-blue, and violet.

We posses, therefore, at least 660+160+32,000 qualities of visual sensation.

2. The Quality of Auditory Sensations

The source of hearing is sound. From the physical point of view, sound is a movement of the air particles. The movement may be continued and regular (sound-wave) or irregular (shock and concussion), or it may consist of mixtures of waves and shocks, or of successions of shocks. A sound-wave excites the sensation of tone, a mere concussion, or a wave movement of less than two complete undulations, the sensation of simple noise.

What we commonly call the ‘pitch’ or ‘height’ of tones is their psychological ‘quality.’

A. Sensations of Tone—We speak of tons as ‘high’ and ‘low,’ ‘harsh’ and ‘clear,’ ‘shrill’ and ‘mellow;’ and we distinguish ‘thin’ tones from tones which posses ‘volume,’ etc. We also have symbolic names for the twelve tones comprised within each of the seven octaves of the musical scale: C#, E$, Bb, D2$, a5#, etc. The ear is found to be master of tones: we can hear about 11,050 different tones.

3. The Quality of Olfactory Sensations

Smells are classified as agreeable and disagreeable, and named after the objects which give rise to them without regard to their likeness or unlikeness in sensation. It is impossible, in the present state of our knowledge, to say how many qualities of smell the nose can distinguish. In all probability the number is very large. It is also probable that smells fall into groups of similar qualities, and that members of each group form graded series, like those in tone or brightness.

Substantives like ‘scent,’ ‘odor,’ ‘perfume,’ ‘bouquet,’ and adjectives like ‘aromatic,’ ‘fragrant,’ ‘redolent,’ ‘savory,’ are either quite general terms (corresponding to ‘bright,’ ‘color,’ ‘flavor,’ in other sense departments) or refer to groups for practical purposes (cookery, the toilet, etc.) They do not help us towards a psychological classification of smell qualities.

4. The Quality of Gustatory Sensations

There are four qualities of taste: sweet, bitter, acid and salt. All the other ‘tastes’ of which we speak in everyday life are complex perceptions. Thus the ‘taste’ of lemonade is made up of a sweet taste, an acid taste, a scent (the fragrance of lemon,) a sensation of temperature and a pricking (cutaneous) sensation.

Sensations of brightness, color, noise tone and (probably) smell form unbroken series of qualities. We can pass gradually from black to white, through intermediate shades of grey; we can pass from bass to treble, without any break or interruption of the scale, etc. The sensations of taste, on the contrary, do not constitute a series; ‘sweet’ is not in any way nearer or more like ‘acid’ then it is like ‘salt.’ Each of the four qualities stands out distinctly by itself, so that if we did not know that all four came from the tongue, we might be disposed to think that they belonged to separate senses.

Tastes, however, resemble visual sensations in the fact that they contrast with one another. A red seen upon a grey background tinges the neighboring grey with verdigris; and a grey seen through a black tube looks whiter than otherwise would be the case. So an acid seems more sour after a sweet; and a salt and sweet, if applied at the same time to different parts of the tongue, are saltier and sweeter than they would be sensed singularly.

5. The Quality of Touch (Cutaneous)

The skin can be stimulated both mechanically (by pressure, a blow, tickeling, etc.) and thermally (by the application of hot and cold objects.)

Language is rich in names for ‘tastes’ but these names indicate, not simple sensation qualities but mental processes which are really of a complex nature, and arise from the excitation of two or more senses. The mechanical cutaneous sense resembles that of taste in this respect. We are apt to speak of ‘sensations’ of touch, resistance, impact, tickling, etc., and to think of them as coming to us exclusively through the skin. In reality, these processes are all mixtures of sensations. There are only two qualities of the sense of touch: the qualities of pressure and pain.

A. Contact is simply a very light pressure; there is no difference of quality between the two experiences.

B. Hardness and Softness are primarily differences of intensity of pressure. They also contain qualities of temperature (a ‘soft’ is either a ‘clammy’ or ‘warm soft’.)

C. Sharpness and Bluntness are primarily differences of the extent of pressure

D. Roughness and Smoothness differ as interrupted and continuous extent of pressure.

E. Wetness and Dryness are easily confused, if the conditions of the test allow the skin to remain passive.

F. Resistance is a complex perception, containing organic sensations from muscle, sinew and joint, in various proportions, as well as pressure.

G. Touch is active pressure, i.e. pressure plus the organic sensations arising from movement.

H. Impact, if the stimulus is weak, is a sudden pressure, probably mixed with the organic sensation of tickling.

Many of the complexes resolved here into cutaneous and organic qualities, also contain a visual quality, remembered or imagined.

A. Sensatinos connected with Thermal Stimulation—Language and scientific observation are here in agreement. Both alike recognize two qualities of the thermal cutaneous sense: warmth and cold. We may lay it down as a general rule that any stimulus whose temperature is above 34°C (the average natural temperature of the healthy skin) gives rise to a sensation of warmth, and all sensations below this temperature give the sensation of cold.

The ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ spots of the skin, like the pressure-spots, occur only where a sensory nerve-fibril terminates in the cutis. The investigation of the temperature sense is exceedingly difficult, since the skin adapts itself readily to wide differences of outside temperature.

6. The Quality of Musucal, Tendinous and Articular Sensations

In the preceding sections, we have been dealing with the sensations of the special senses. We have taken for granted that a single quality (red, hot, sweet) can be sensed by itself. This is not entirely true: consciousness is always complex, always consisting of more than one process. But it is approximately true. We can attend strongly to one simple impression that sensations by other stimuli activate at the same time.

A. Muscular Sensation—The ‘voluntary’ (striped) muscles of the body are supplied with sensory nerves. The fibrils of these nerves terminate among the muscle fibers just as the cutaneous nerve-fibrils terminate. Muscular contraction occasions a specific sensation.

B. Tendinous Sensation—Like the muscles to which they are attached, the tendons are supplied with sensory nerves. The nerve-endings in tendon are different from those in muscle or skin. The specific sensation is that of tension or strain.

C. Articular Sensation—The surfaces of the joints are richly supplied with sensory nerves, whose endings resemble those found in the skin. The quality of sensation, like muscular, may be described as pressure. But the articular sensation is far more important than muscular, since it is one of the two principal sources from which we obtain knowledge or the position or movement of the limbs.

7. The Quality of the Alimentary Sensations

Here we seem to find at least three new qualities: those of hunger, thirst, and nausea. Each of these experiences is complex; but each appears to contain, in addition, to sensations of pressure and temperature, a specific quality.

A. Hunger is localized in the stomach. When the stomach has digested a mass amount of food, its walls begin to dry, and fall into folds or ridges. The dryness and folding somehow stimulates the nerve endings in the mucous membrane of the stomach. There then arises the organic sensation of hunger.

B. Thirst is localized in the mouth and pharynx. A dryness of the mucous membrane in this region somehow stimulates the nerve-endings. Thirst can be removed by painting the back of the mouth with a weak solution of citric acid.

C. Nausea seems to be due to the pressure upon the nerve endings in the esophagus which occurs during the first stages of the vomiting reflex. It may be that this quality is that of pressure. Nausea usually contains sensations of taste, smell, and giddiness

8. The Quality of the Circulatory, Respiratory, and Sexual Sensations

Tickling, itching, tingling, pins and needles, feverishness, etc., are not simple sensation qualities, but complexes, made up of sensations. The actions of the lungs, like that of the heart, do not normally excite sensation. Sensations of breathlessness, suffocation, etc. are the stimulation of nerve-endings within the lungs themselves apparently arouses a true respiratory sensation.

The sex organs furnish a specific sensation quality. They are also sensitive to pressure and temperature.

9. The Quality of the State Sense

There is good evidence for the hypothesis that the canals and vestibules of the ear constitute an apparatus which assists us to maintain our equilibrium and to estimate correctly our position in space. As we move our head or body in different directions, the endolymph washes against different groups of hair-cells. Ordinarily, the action of the apparatus is not attended by sensation (heart and lungs) but we receive from the vestibular nerve-endings the organic sensation of giddiness.

A. Pain—Pain seems to be, like pressure, both a specific (cutaneous) and an organic sensation quality. It is set up both by injury to the epidermis and by excessive muscular contraction. The concrete pain excited by a dazzling light or a cut of a finger contains three distinct factors: a sensation of special sense, the sensation of pain, and a severe unpleasantness. It is now certain that pain is derived only from skin and mucous membranes, striped muscle, joint, and possibly bone-tissue.

10. The Total Number of Elementary Sensations

Eye 32,820

Ear (audition) 11, 600

Tongue 4

Skin 4

Muscle 2

Tendon 1

Joint 1

Alimentary Canal 3

Lungs 1

Sex organs 1

Ear (static sense) 1

More than 44,435

Each one of these forty thousand qualities is a conscious element, distinct from all the rest, and altogether simple. Each one may be connected with others in various ways. A large part of psychology is taken up with the determination of the laws and conditions which govern the formation of these sensation complexes.

A slight abnormality is much more common than is ordinarily supposed. Very many people are more or less color-blind, they confuse red with green, or have a shortened spectrum. Very many people are tone-deaf, have a defective sense of smell, etc. But when all allowances are made, the average number of conscious elements must run in the tens of thousands.

Be Brilliant!

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Alan Davidson is the author of the Free report

"Body Breakthroughs for Life Breakthroughs: How to Peak Your

Physical, Emotional, Mental, Moral, and Spiritual IQs for a

Sensational Life"

available at www.throughyourbody.com

Alan is also the author of Body Brilliance:

Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs)