What is Sensory Communication?

All the information we receive is received through our senses. In the context of TACPAC, we are making use of our sense of touch and sense of music to communicate. We are all born with a sense of these languages, such that universally they are understood, cross culturally and internationally. We call music and touch languages, because they convey information, are structured, have sensory sentences, senses of humour, tensions, resolutions, beginnings, endings and subtle nuances. They also contain and can convey the whole spectrum of human emotion. All this without us being taught these languages in any formal setting.

Cognitive Understanding and Processing

Sensory communication bypasses the necessity of cognitive understanding and processing. If we pay attention to our sensory vocabulary, and how much we actually do communicate nonverbally, we will be surprised at how much communication is conveyed this way. We use facial features (smiles, frowns, etc), body language (shaking or nodding heads, “stop” with our hands, raising our shoulders for “I don’t know”) etc. We can take note of our breathing in various circumstances. (holding breath for uncertainty, even breathing for calm etc) and a host of other instances of what we call “Sensory Vocabulary”. Most of all in TACPAC we use our intuition. As a giver, you will be using this sense to its fullest ability, to “tune into” your receiver’s sensory communication.

Warmth and Trust

Your partner might mirror your face if there is a warmth and trust between the partners, and note that you might be mirroring your partner! This may be conscious or unconscious. It is important to be conscious of all your two way sensory communications.

Your partner may want to hold what you are holding. Let them – this is part of a sharing communication. Have a second object nearby. They are copying you.

If you have excitement and passion in your tone of voice, your partner might be encouraged to make vocalisations and sing along. Don’t be afraid to make vocal sounds (you could call that singing if you want to!)  – your partner is not afraid and needs to learn courage and expression from you. Find your voice, use it

Good communication relies on trust. A good partnership will be reliable, predictable, and safe. Make sure you’re really present for your partner, even if you’re tempted to mentally go through your shopping list. Being there will certainly help the process of sensory communication.

How do you know that good sensory communication has taken place?

  • Your receiver has enjoyed the session
  • There have been smiles of excitement or recognition
  • There have been moments of clear eye contact, recognising “the other”.
  • There has been some relaxation at the end of the session or during the session
  • You have learned something new from your partner
  • Your partner has learned something new from you.
  • You “feel” that was a good session – you might not know why. Remember, a sensory communication by passes cognition, and “knowing” now takes on another meaning.

We are mainly communicating emotions. They are delicate and subtle. Have you and your partner engaged on an emotional level, however slight? This is satisfying communication!

Find out more on a TACPAC training!

If you want to find out more about how TACPAC can benefit those with sensory processing difficulties and learn more about Sensory Alignment, book yourself onto on of our regular Live, Online Essential Training courses