A deeper understanding of touch and proprioception has implications beyond its appeal to curiosity about how our senses work. Both senses are critical for our ability to stand, sit, walk, run and dance. Their acuity is diminished by chronic diseases such as diabetes and HIV-AIDS, by chemotherapy during cancer treatment, and during the course of normal aging. Such sensory dysfunction is a risk factor for lower-limb amputation in diabetics as well as for debilitating falls among the elderly. Together, these events account for more than $20 billion/year in health-care costs. Yet, our understanding of the basic biology of these senses is rudimentary at best. In identifying the molecules that form force-gated ion channels in diverse mechanoreceptor neurons and by developing new tools and analytical approaches, research in my laboratory offers unique insights into how we, as humans, feel and sense the world around us.