Reference: 2023-05-11; https://mbp-japan.com/jijico/articles/32316/
Modified and translated by CFJA
Summer kicks off on May 6th, 2023, heralding the gradual rise of temperatures. As we usher in this season, terms such as “hot day,” “midsummer day,” and “extremely hot day” permeate our conversations.
- Hot day: A day when temperatures soar to 25℃ or above.
- Midsummer day: A day exceeding 30℃.
- Extremely hot day: A scorching day surpassing 35℃.
These terms, however, can be misleading. Many often mistake an “extremely hot day” for just a mildly warm one, impulsively reaching for cold drinks in an attempt to stave off heatstroke. While 35℃ is undeniably warm, coastal regions with brisk winds or mountainous areas that enjoy a cool breeze may feel pleasantly cool, even at this temperature. Conversely, a 28℃ day paired with high humidity can be suffocating.
This sensation of heat or cold that we experience is termed “somatic perception.” It encompasses skin sensations like touch, temperature, and pain, as well as deep sensations in our muscles, tendons, and joints. Interestingly, it excludes visceral sensations. While eyes detect vision, ears capture sound, the nose identifies smells, and the tongue discerns taste, somatic perception picks up on sensations beyond these primary senses.
It’s essential to realize that blindly adhering to descriptors like “hot day” or “midsummer day” without considering one’s personal somatic perception can compromise well-being. To safeguard our health, it’s paramount to trust our sensory experiences over general labels.
Recognizing Distortions in Somatic Perception During Illness
When unwell, you might experience unusual sensations. If these sensations deviate notably from a typical healthy state, it’s crucial to check your body temperature. Both hypothermia (below 35℃) and fever (above 38℃) can manifest. If your bodily perceptions differ markedly from those around you, it’s time to assess your somatic perception.
But what about those who reside in colder environments or have pre-existing health conditions? Do they have skewed sensory perceptions?
While healthy individuals can rely on their somatic perception to gauge temperature accurately and adapt their living choices accordingly, adjusting to sudden temperature shifts can take days. During this period, focusing on body sensations, a facet of somatic perception, is key. It also calls for careful consideration of one’s surroundings. To acclimate to changing environments faster, consider these recommendations:
- Avoid staying in rooms colder than 18℃.
- During daytime, set air conditioners no lower than 28℃.
- Refrain from wearing overly light clothing.
- Choose bedrooms that receive direct sunlight.
- Limit excessive intake of cold beverages.