My body has never tingled so much since we moved to Bali! I’m not talking about my leg “falling asleep.” These are very pleasant feelings, sometimes subtle and soft, and other times overwhelming, causing my whole body to feel like it’s filled with lightning. Sometimes they’re accompanied by strong emotion and a feeling of relief and release. These sensations can be relaxing or energizing, peaceful or exciting. Many even consider these experiences to be spiritual.
I’ve felt tingling feelings throughout my life. I remember when I was about twelve years old, I discovered that if I relaxed my legs in a certain way, they started to tingle. I can still do this at will, and am becoming better at doing it to the rest of my body as well as my legs, although I still don’t really understand how or what I’m doing. It might be related to ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), but I’m not sure. I also feel tingling in my hands (and now my arms) whenever I practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
But that’s different from the more powerful tingling sensations I’ve experienced through certain breathing techniques, spiritual healers I’ve received treatments from, and other times in my life when these overwhelming feelings came more unexpectedly.
I’ve been puzzled as to what these tingles mean and what causes them. Of course, you can make your body tingle rather quickly by emphasizing either the exhale or the inhale when you breathe, eventually causing either hyperventilation or hyper-oxygenation, respectively, if prolonged. But is there more going on than just that?
I recently attended a Transformational Breathing Workshop where we allowed ourselves to breathe deeply, increasing our oxygen levels, and causing some of the most intense and powerful tingles I’ve ever felt. My body became almost paralyzed, but along with the sensations came extremely powerful emotional releases. I yelled, cried, and laughed more than I have in a long time. And afterward, I felt I had much more space inside to breathe. I was full of energy while also relaxed and at peace. It was amazing!
Likewise, every time I’ve visited a spiritual healer here in Ubud, I feel these tingling sensations. Sometimes they last for hours afterward. When I ask them what these sensations mean, they say things like it’s energy blockages being released and allowed to flow. They relate it to acupuncture, but without the needles. (Note that in some sessions, they don’t even touch me physically.) I’ve also heard that when our subconscious or our spirit feels excitement at an idea or that it will be good for us, it can let us know through tingles.
In my experience, I’m starting to see a correlation between the release of emotion or troubling beliefs, and these tingling feelings. A typical physical response to releasing tension or stress is a sigh. When we sigh, we’re in a sense letting go what’s bothering us, and we’re beginning to accept our reality. Not surprisingly, after sighing a few times, I start to tingle. I also sometimes tingle when I come to a new realization or a deeper level of awareness of something that I think will be life changing. Regardless of what causes these tingling feelings, they sure feel wonderful!
Here is a quick list of the different types of tingling I’ve experienced, a short description of the sensation, and what object it might feel like if against the skin. You may come up with others, or experience these differently. This is just my experience, and it’s difficult to put these feelings into words.
Types of Tingling
- Limbs “falling asleep” (somewhat painful and prickly: like the back of needles on stretched skin)
- After coming out of a deep stretch (subtle: like pinheads gently tapping the skin)
- That thing I can do with my legs (relaxing: like a gentle vibrator inside my skin)
- Tingles when doing tai chi (gentle and buzzing: like an electric blanket)
- Tingling from Spiritual healing / release (strong and thick, but not sharp: like pencil erasers or drops of water)
- Tingles during Meditation or hypnosis (varies)
- Tingles during sex (varies)
- Deep breathing exercises, such as transformational breathing (intense, tight: like a prolonged but mild electric shock)
- Singing or performing on stage (varies)
Have you felt tingles before? What do they feel like to you, when have you felt them, and what do you think causes them? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.