Hi all, here's a short article from a health news letter which may help anyone with aches and pains: Rub Away Your Pain: Feel-Good Pain Relief Trick Ever notice how having your arm lightly stroked feels really calming? Stroke a cat's head and you will hear instant purring. People -- and some animals -- like to be stroked and now a group of Swedish researchers at the University of Gothenburg has discovered why this feels so pleasurable. They also uncovered evidence of how this simple act might someday be harnessed for pain control. An earlier study showed that we have a separate sensory system in the skin that carries the perception and pleasure of being touched to the brain. The nerve fibers in this system are called "CT-afferents"(C being a label for "very slow" and T meaning tactile). These researchers took this finding a step further, discovering that the pleasure signals evoked by stroking skin lightly bypass other types of messages traveling from the same area to the brain. This discovery may open the door to a new -- and entirely pleasant -- way to control pain. I contacted study coauthor Johan Wessberg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of physiology at the University, to learn more. Emphasizing that the research is a first step toward an application that remains speculative, he says it is "well grounded in current theories about brain mechanisms for pain" and that he and his colleagues have started a new study to investigate the potential of these interactions among pleasant touch, CT afferents and pain. If you are interested in giving it a try in the real world right away, it's helpful to know that in humans the pleasure paths of the CT-afferent system are located on the hairy skin of the arms, hands, legs and the face. Go ahead and lightly rub these areas on yourself or someone else, using a very light, soft touch. Dr. Wessberg noted that the longer the stroking took place, the happier the study participants became. At worst, it feels good -- at best, we may someday learn how to use it for specific pain relief. Source(s): Johan Wessberg, MD, PhD, associate professor of physiology at The University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of the word unsubscribe, to tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.