BARRY BLACKWELL, M.D.
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Tickle is a curiously dilute form of pain; it travels the same path through the body to the brain. Both sensations are enhanced by the presence of another person. Biologically it makes perfect sense. Suffering and pleasure were meant to be shared, nourished by comfort or communication. Talking amplifies pain, inviting solace. Tickling is for two. When nobody is there, the sensations diminish or disappear.
In my practice I often see chronic pain. Intractable but benign, it ruins life rather than ending it. I witness its contortions and attend to its sighs. Seduced by its symptoms, I become the significant
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BLACKWELL B. Light Touch. Ann Intern Med. 1986;105:809. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-105-5-809_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;105(5):809.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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