[tabi] rub away pain

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:34:56 -0400

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.


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

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