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.
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I really enjoyed that transformational breathing workshop. I was very pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. I tend to restrict my breathing naturally, and I’ve know that for years now, and have been trying to breathe more freely, but the transformational breathing took it to a whole new level. Our bodies are amazing!
As I read this post, a Star Trek Next Generation episode kept coming to mind. It was called “Transfigurations” – and the plot involved some being (who was hunted and feared by people on his planet) experiencing some strange sensations and energetic pulsing through his body…. turned out his species was on the verge of an evolutionary change (he being the first) – from a physical to a completely energetic being. Can watch the episode here: http://ishare.rediff.com/video/entertainment/star-trek-tng-3×25-transfigurations/2390565
Have you discovered any special healing powers along with these tingles? Do I need to be concerned you’re going to transform into a completely energetic being of light and disappear into space? :)
Wow, that would be cool! But no, so far, it’s just a wonderful feeling. Well, actually, I do feel more in touch with my emotions lately, and more accepting of myself as I am. I attribute some of that change to these healing sessions. I don’t know if the tingling itself heals, or if it’s an indicator of healing occurring on some level, but it is often there when I feel like a powerful inner change is occurring.
Looking forward to watching that Star Trek episode. :)
It is clear that we are going to have some really amazing conversations and experiences when I visit again…
I’m going to have to pay more attention to potential tingling… I am quite familiar with the unpleasant sensation of limbs “waking up” I’d like to experience the happy tingles.
Yes, we’ll have a great time! :) It’s only in the last 6 months, since increasing my meditation and tai chi practice where I’ve really begun to feel the tingles more strongly and regularly. Now I can feel them powerfully almost anytime I want within a few seconds, doing some of these different techniques (whether a simple tai chi move or some heavy breathing). So I guess it’s something that becomes easier with practice.
Brandon, since you’re a man of adventure and new experiences, I wonder if you’ve ever tried Bikram yoga. I practiced it for a number of years until my cardiologist forbid it… believing it contributed to high blood pressure, my strokes and heart attacks. But I digress, Bikram practices a unique way of breathing that could induce the tingling sensations you describe. Try it sometime, but only if you don’t have the health issues I had. Bikram is a 90 minutes session of yoga postures in a room heated to 105 or 110. The breathing posture being one of those.
I enjoy your blog…. and find myself being envious of your lifestyle, at the same time admiring your sense of adventure.
Hi Jerry, I’ve heard of Bikram but never tried it. Sounds interesting, and VERY hot! Maybe I will give it a try one day. Thanks for your comment.
Hi- tingling! Yes! I’ve been interested in energy work (polarity/ reiki/ medical qigong) for a while and been a tingler for most of my adult life. I would say it’s an awareness that we turn off and most people have it. Tingling and heat in my hands is common when I work on people, and now that I am studying acupuncture and beginning a meditation and qigong practice, I feel things more. Sometimes if I hold food/herbs/ stones I feel their qi moving up into my arms, or I get impressions of them. Hot/ cold, fem/ masculine, dark/ light, emotional attributes, etc. Definitely touching people casually (like holding a friend’s hand) and in a healing setting, and most definitely during sex! I am hoping that with practice I will be able to intuit more and apply it in a clinical setting. It’s always great to hear about other’s experiences.
Wow, that’s fascinating! It’s interesting to hear that you get different impressions along with the tingles as you touch objects, etc. I have a sense now for how that might feel, although the idea would have been completely foreign to me until recently. It seems to require a lot of sensitivity to feel these things. Nice to know we can get better at it with time. And if you figure out how to use it clinically, please let me know! Great to meet another “tingler.” :)
When I had low blood pressure I was tingle king. Have you had yours checked? I’m just saying.
Last time I had it checked it was perfectly normal. But that was over a year ago. Maybe it’s time again. :)
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this. I have felt tingling from energy work sessions in the past, but also from breathing techniques and visualisations. I am pretty convinced it is that we become more sensitive to energy at some points, depending on our awareness, but also of our level of vibration. I am sure that Bali has probably a pretty high vibrationnal level with all the amazing spiritual practices that Balineses have.
Yes, spirituality is everywhere in Bali. Lots of Hindu rituals, offerings to the gods at every entryway, and this week, we’ve heard the almost constant sound of chanting echoing over the rice fields. I’m not sure what effect it’s all had on me, but I am feeling more in touch than ever before with different sensations in my body, and also what’s going on around me. It’s subtle, but very interesting. Thanks for your feedback.
Hi, only a couple years late to the comment party, but now that I’m hear ill say the tingles are just symptomatic of “letting go” and no longer TRYING! The enemy. It’s hard not to try, the same way it’s hard to really, truly love. It brings on the tingling sensations like you’ve been taken over by some alien imposter when really your point of self ill call it; is waking up from some shit artificial slumber. Also smoking cannibus will bring out the tingles full force, teach you how to tingle, the mindset behind spiritual letting go, and what it means to not give a fuck. All the fuck giving is what leads one to an early grave, with cold hollow bones, avoid that and avoid having a cold shallow heart by being at home within yourself,
Mostly acceptance is key. All this I learned from cannibus, I’m 21, not giving a fuck, letting go,
Impeccable energy, no attachment to self really. I’m sharing this now buy only using words in doing so, if you shook my hand you’d understand this at its essence.
Peace and love to u, tingle on brother
I had a session with an energy healer this week in which I experienced very intense tingles in my arms and hands, and mild tingling in other places. I’d describe as vibration – my arms/hands were vibrating very fast, to the post of shaking – as I was experiencing an emotional release. It lasted for several minutes. It was a strange but pleasant sensation – I actually had a challenge staying present in the moment because I immediately thought of you and that we would have a good talk about it. So skype me this weekend and lets talk – it’s been too long!
I think most are looking past the most obvious answer to what the tingling is. This is what my doctor told me. When doing some deep breathing exercises this tingling sensation is simply highly oxygenated blood getting to your extremities, or to your most sensitive areas, your fingertips and, for me, my lips. We spend most of our days breathing shallow and when we sit down to meditation and practice our breathing, we are giving out bodies shots of the oxygen it’s been craving all day. This should be our signal that our breathing programs are having an effect.
It’s an interesting thing you post about oxygenation. There are those of us that can produce the sensation just by contemplating and focusing on our sensitive areas. I can focus and quickly increase the feeling and fill it out between my hands. The rapid time frame that this can occur makes me less apt to believe it’s all about oxygenation. However, our soul does probably move into our physical body with our first breath and moves out with our last breath so it’s probably related.
Thank you I’m about 14 almost 15 years old and I’ve been trying to find someone with the same experiences I’ve had whenever I feel a strong emotion (sadness,happiness, ext.) Or move my arms in a certain position i feel this tingly feeling usually all over my body and I’ve never been able to explainit. It almost feels like lighting or some kind of energy. Usually corresponding to my emotion but thank you. I thought I was the only one.
I hope you see this – that the energy leads you back here if you haven’t already figured it out. I wondered that too at your age – didn’t find the answer (a significant part of it anyway) until many yrs later. Breathing, energy, etc all fit, but there’s a neurological component that allows (sometimes forces) some to float that line more easily, often w/out intent. Narcolepsy w/ Cataplexy – misconceptions abound re what it really is, and depending on the severity with which one experiences all symptoms, can be cumbersome, even debilitating in ‘normal’ waking life. But what it allows us to do, see, feel, know, if we choose to allow it and explore it, is an amazing gift – absolutely beautiful.
Today I finally felt a push to investigate this. My entire life, childhood to present, I have had the same feeling. Mine is a bit different however in that I can control it without breathing, relaxing or any other outside factor. Mine travels from my chest area near the sternum radiating outward to the top of my head, toes and fingers. I feel as if I am being supercharged or electrified but in a pleasant way. I have a few other traits that aren’t explained, but this has always made me the most curious. I continue to this day to be able to alter myself and induce the full body sensations. I would like to know more and thank you for sharing.
I came to this post because during my first time doing breathing relaxation I felt tingly feeling in my hands and face.
I have been dealing with some thoughts that cause a lot of anxiety. I don’t like it because it makes my body ill from my gut passing through my genitals and it tenses my lower extremities.
I want to share this YouTube link that truly helped me relax ( it is not a product or service offer. It is just a very effective relaxation track)
Anyhow, I got to the point where I started to cry and felt this sadness coming out my chest. I started to ask for forgiveness to someone I had hurt.
Then later at night, I was trying to relax to fall asleep and while doing my breathing and listening to the track I felt how my right calf was relaxing. See, I had had trouble with his calf. My anxiety causes it to get very tense. So while breathing I felt the muscles relax. It was a very new sensation for me. As went along I started to feel my feet tingling little by little, my face and my hands too.
I just wanted to share it. This is new for me. I do t want to rely on medication to control my anxiety and I think I’m starting on the right path.
Thank you Brandon. You realise answered my questions that I’ve been seeking. I’ve experienced these sensations these last few years which washes my body.
Ubud, Bali is my idea of paradise. The Yoga Barn is a wonderful place.
Yes, I get them during periods of emotional periods of them. I would consider them almost euphoric, more of a different awareness in my legs and arms than I normally have. It’s really hard to qualify but more than my body feels the entire emotion than just my mind. When I close my eyes during these moments and hold that feeling and visualize things I really slip deep into thought quickly, and when I open my eyes I feel like I have just come out of a nap.
I get them…every day, lots on an evening, but at any time during the day. Even whilst driving. They follow a course, some light, sometimes deep sometimes stops me in my track. Energy I know for sure, what it means? I haven’t a clue
I have recently been experiencing this, it’s amazing. I would describe it most of the time, with peace and acceptance. For the first time in my life I have started to just breath, let myself accept who I am/where I am and who I want to truly be. Opening up and letting the universe guide me.
THIS happens all the time, sometimes for a period of time. I feel beautiful but it’s not an exterior beautiful. I also finally feel ‘at home’ if that makes sense. Although the I know where I am currently will not be ‘my home’.
I was looking for an answer or just a few words, and your article came up.
I want to thank you for your words, as they made me smile.
Have the best day, may it treat you as perfectly as you want it to.
I really don’t understand mine. They happen several times a day…mainly legs but arms and heart area too. Some are gripping, intense but no pain, some brushing. I have ‘physically’ been moved from my old job, had two electrical shocks, forced into a new career path of healing. The tingles started about 8 months after the first shock. Mean something? I don’t know???