SKIN AS THE "THIRD BRAIN"
"In his article “Epidermis as the ‘Third Brain?’” Japanese researcher Mitsuhiro Denda, PhD, introduces the idea that the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), which forms the interface between the body and the environment, could be considered the “third brain” (next to the digestive tract as the “second brain”), as it contains multiple environmental sensors and a sensory information-processing system, and generates a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters with the potential to influence whole-body states and emotions." - Massage Mag, "The 'Why' Behind Touch Benefits." 2020.
To keep it simple, "all components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, an interactive neuroendocrine unit that describes the functional connection between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (both located in the brain), and the adrenal glands (on top of the kidneys) can be found in touch-receptors in the skin (epidermal keratinocytes)." As the HPA axis is critical for aiding with homeostasis (whole-body balance and optimal function), when approached in a positive manner, the skin then becomes an avenue for helping us better adapt to physical and emotional triggers in the world around us.
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Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
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