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Tickling, Why Do We Laugh?

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Why do we laugh when we are tickled? Have you ever pondered that question? Then you probably spend a lot of time alone like I do. Thinking about unimportant problems in the middle of the night is how I earn the big money.

What is the difference between a touch and tickle? How come you can’t tickle yourself? Hold on a minute my head is about to explode from all of these questions. Let’s take a second and see what we know.

 

 

Why do we laugh when we are tickled? That is an involuntary response. If you imagine the hand of a loved one sliding off your shoulder and down toward your rib cage and underarm area you are probably smiling right now.  As you know a real tickle has to be just the right touch. Too much pressure and it goes from a tickle to a poke and that isn’t fun. Your brain perceives these two light touches in two different areas and the way the brain processes the information is why we get the  pleasurable response. Actually the brain deduces that the light touches are of no threat and basically discards them leaving just the action of the nerves pinging around the brain to created the pleasurable response.

How come you can’t tickle yourself? That has to do with the conscious mind as well as the part of the brain that works without us thinking about it. Since tickling by another is usually the result of being in a situation that finds us in a happy place we simply take that mood and extend the response. Tickling by another is a physiological reaction to the need to be touched. Since touching ourselves does not create the same stimulus as being caressed by another we don’t get that tickling sensation.

Watch A Tickle Fight

Where are our most ticklish spots? For me my most ticklish spots would be the rib cage, the under arm area and the feet. Guess what those are the same spots that would be most likely to be your ticklish spots too. Why is that? Think about our bodies and the way they are built. The feet, before shoes, had to be super sensitive to the environment around us. We had to know what we were stepping in there fore the feet or super sensitive. The under arms and rib cage areas are very near vital organs. We would want to  know if someone or something was about to be messing with our vital organs so those areas are super sensitive.

Did you know that tickling was once a punishment for nobility? It was deemed an appropriate punishment for the kings and queens of ancient times because it left no mark and was easy to recover from.

So here is to tickling a great prelude to romance if you are with the right person or a few minutes of pure terror if you are the younger brother.

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