Partake in every feast for the senses

There is a 20-acre garden located in New Delhi titled, the Garden of the Five Senses.

There is a 20-acre garden located in New Delhi titled, the Garden of the Five Senses.

It’s purpose is to:  “Stimulate all the five senses in an evocative bouquet that awakens the mind to the beauty of life and invoke a grateful prayer for the gift of touch, sight, sound, smell and taste.”  Visitors are encouraged to “touch the rocks and displays, smell the fragrance of the flowers to stimulate the olfactory senses, visually take in the appealing landscaping, hear the ceramic bells and the soothing sound of the water falls to please the ear and enjoy the variety of cuisines at the food courts to please the tongue.”

So how do these seemingly simple – yet super-sophisticated – senses of ours actually work in our bodies so that we can enjoy and experience all of that?

Touching the rocks: Your sense of touch comes by way of your skin, which has about five million nerve receptors. When those sensors are stimulated, they send electrical pulses to your neurons.  These special cells then relay electrochemical impulses along until it reaches your spinal cord, which then take the incoming signals and sends it to your brain for translation.

Smelling the flowers: Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other of our senses, and the receptors in our nose is the only place where our central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment.

Vaporized odor molecules (or chemicals) floating in the air, reach the nose and dissolve in the mucus, which is on the roof of each nostril.  Underneath the mucus are specialized olfactory receptor neurons that are capable of differentiating thousands of odors and scents, which then transmit the information to the olfactory bulbs located at the back of the nose. These sensory receptors send messages directly to the most primitive and higher brain centers, which can then influence emotions such as triggering memories, and modify conscious thought.

Our noses are responsible for 80 to 90 per cent of our perception of flavour.

Seeing the landscape: Our eyes collect visual information by images that are carried by light passing through the cornea, which bends – or refracts – this light.

The iris regulates the pupil, which controls the amount of light that enters the eye. Behind that is a lens that further focuses light, or an image, onto the retina. The retina is a delicate, photosensitive tissue that contains the special photoreceptor cells that convert light into electrical signals, which are processed further and sent to the brain through the optic nerve for interpretation and to scan its memory banks. Fifty per cent of our brain pathways are dedicated to vision and our eyes can distinguish up to 10 million different colours.

Hearing the bells:  Sound waves travel into the ear canal until they reach the eardrums, then passes the vibrations through the middle ear bones or ossicles into the inner ear (or cochlea), which is shaped like a snail and has thousands of tiny hair cells. Hair cells change the vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain through the hearing nerve to interpret what that sound is.

Enjoy their cuisine:  Taste is basically a bundle of different sensations that land on our taste buds and tongue, which then boil it down to sweet, sour, salty and bitter, as well as qualities such as smell, texture and temperature.  The ‘colouring’ of a taste happens through the nose, and only after taste is combined with smell is a food’s flavour produced.

Like smell, taste is closely linked to our emotions because both senses are connected to the involuntary nervous system.

A couple of years ago, my “getting up there’ mom and I were out walking and we stuck our noses into what I experienced as an incredibly scented rosebush, but she could barely smell them. Her advancing age had clearly robbed a lot of this precious sense from her, which really shocked and saddened me. So the moral of that short story and the message in this column is to take big, long whiffs of wonderfully scented flowers whenever you see them and enjoy and truly appreciate all our other senses that we likely take for granted.

In another words – use ‘em before you lose ‘em!


Just Posted

In Photos: Trooper attracts a crowd on Shuswap Lake

Hundreds of boats turn up to watch the Canadian rockers play atop a 94 foot houseboat

Salmon Arm Secondary hosts B.C. mountain biking championships

Over 200 riders expected to hit the trails May 25-26

Tanto Latte brings authentic Italian flavour to the Okanagan

Organic Italian cheese to be produced in Salmon Arm

Shuswap karate instructor doubles for Hollywood’s big stars

Holly Raczynski’s latest job was as a stunt double on the upcoming X-Men film, Dark Phoenix

Rain will push risk of ‘extreme flooding’ in Okanagan

River Forecast Centre says rainfall over the next 24-36 hours will have the greatest impact

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

The Okanagan shines in foodie finalist list

Western Living has released their 2018 list of finalists

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Most Read