Lexicon of Body Sensations

Our bodies constantly communicate with us. I’m thirsty, hungry, hot, tired, or in pain. Sometimes the signals are incredibly obvious or it can be subtle messages. We may be consciously aware of them or we may not notice them at all.


A sensation is a physical feeling in the body. Sensation language describes physical feelings using words based on the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight.

It’s important not to mix up sensations with emotions. While emotions do have accompanying sensations, the emotions are not sensations: there is a distinct difference. Sensations can be defined as physical feelings and responses and emotions are states of consciousness. To become aware of pleasant and unpleasant body sensations, find words to describe them and allow the blocked energy inside our bodies to move.

Physical Perceptions

Take a pause and check in with yourself right now, and notice what’s happening in your body. Are you sitting or standing? If sitting, is it a comfortable chair that you can feel against your legs and back? Is it soft or hard? Can you lean back? Do your feet touch the floor?

At some point there was an interruption that never allowed the energy to move through our system and out. It is stuck. As we identify our different body sensations and develop our vocabulary, we begin to unlock what has been unable to move through.

If you’re standing just notice the floor or ground beneath your feet and notice how your legs feel as you are standing there. Maybe you’re thirsty, hungry or tired and weren’t even aware until you started to pay attention to your body.

What we feel in our bodies can lead to many thoughts, feelings, and even behaviors. You probably don’t have any meaningful thoughts and feelings about sitting in a chair however; there are many other situations where the opposite is true.


To clarify I want you to think about fear. Fear is an emotion that for some comes wrapped up with the sensations of constriction in the chest, tightness and pressure in the throat and fluttering or trembling in the belly or legs. A simple way to remember, sensations use words based on the five senses to describe whatever you’re experiencing in your body.

Wisdom of the Body

You can learn to become more aware of your body sensations and develop a language to describe them. You begin to recognize sensations that are a signal announcing a trigger, reaction, numbing out, something that overwhelms your system.

In time you can begin to be aware of situations that bring the onset of the emotions or beliefs that the system cannot handle or doesn’t have a reference point for. A first step might be simply to start to notice body sensations.

List of Body Sensations

Burning Chilly Clammy Cool Cold Flushed Frozen Heated Hot Icy Sizzle Sticky Sweaty Warm

Butterflies Electric Energized Flowing Twitchy

Dense Dull Itchy Nervy Rigid Sharp

Achy Bubbly Buzzy Shaky Tingly Trembly Twitchy

Bumpy Clenched Congested Constricted Cut-off Disconnected Hard Soft Stuck Wooden

Icy Jittery Weak

Calm Cozy Empty Peaceful Relaxed Solid Still

Bright Clear Clean Dark Empty Faint Full Heavy Light Luminous Soft Sparkly

Awake Energized Expanded Expansive Floating Fluid Floating Flowing Radiating Releasing Soaring Spacious Spreading Streaming Swirling

Congested Contracted Jagged Knotted Restricted Sharp Stiff Straight Slow Strong Suffocating Tight Tiny Tense Tough

Blurry Dizzy Draining Fuzzy Frantic Ragged Spacey Spinning

Brittle Crooked Jagged Jumpy Numb Paralyzed Pounding Pressure Prickly Pulsing Throbbing Trembly

Bruised Faint Flaccid Fragile Goosebumps Hollow Jittery Nauseous Nervous Prickly Queasy Quivery Shaky Sleepy Sore Tender Tearful Wobbly

Aglow Bloated Blocked Closed Dark Deflated Heavy Inflated Light Open Puffy Stale Thin Thick Tough

Airy Breathless Breezy Cool Fluttery Gentle Silky Smooth Tickly

Bitter Clammy Damp Dry Loose Moist Stringy

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