Physiology Question

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Apr 25 15:16:12 EST 2002


On 25 Apr 2002 09:45:04 -0700, pooua at aol.com (Richard Alexander)
wrote:

>James Teo suggested that I bring this question here, which I had
>posted on sci.med.
>
>When I was about 5 years old, I discovered that I could turn on and
>off a sensation at will. The sensation resembled the feeling that I
>got when I stuck my finger in a light socket, so I called the
>sensation, "The Electricity." I've never known what The Electricity
>is, and I haven't found any descriptions of it any any of the medical
>books I've read. I've asked several doctors about it, but none of them
>knows what it is. So, I am bringing my question to Usenet, in hopes
>that someone might be able to help me understand the sensation better.
>
>I don't have to move to create the sensation; I simply turn it on. I
>can turn it on in just one part of my body, or over my entire body. I
>feel very powerful when I turn it on. It numbs pain for a few seconds
>in the part of the body in which I turn it on. It also clears my
>sinuses when I fire it by my head. I am able to generate the strongest
>sensation by lying completely relaxed on the floor, though I can also
>produce some of the sensation when I'm standing, walking or running.
>If I make the sensation strong enough, my muscles will jerk
>involuntarily. If I turn it on full power while I am lying on the
>floor, my body will jump and jerk all over the floor. I can only keep
>it on full power for several seconds, less than a minute, before I
>tire.
>
>After I fire, I often become a bit groggy. In fact, as I fire, I
>become increasingly stupid and disoriented, and less able to interact
>socially. I try not to fire in my head because it has such a strong
>bad effect on my thinking when I do that. It may take several days
>before I completely recover from turning on the sensation, though the
>worst of the effect goes away in a short time.
>
>Does anyone have any comment they could make on this sensation? 

Just for the record, I did recommend him bring this question here.
This inquiry was initially started at sci.med, and two other posters
(myself included) came forward with semi-similar experiences, although
we both did not have any control over the sensation nor did either of
us have any motor manifestation of it. On my part, I would describe it
more as a total body buzzing usually triggered by an emotional scene
and I have not experienced it for many years. I believe Richard has
had an EEG which did not find anything and I know I don't have any
large brain tumours based on several fMRIs done on me during psych
experiments.

I also included a reference from the Journal of the Royal Society
which listed a couple of somatoform disorders which may have a
physiological basis due to their reproducibility and consistency. One
of them was "Total body pins and needles" which probably isn't the
same phenomenon but I included it just in case. 

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Ref: Le Fanu, James (Mar, 2002), "A Clutch of New Syndromes", Journal
of the Royal Society of Medicine vol 95, page 118-125.

Total body 'pins and needles'
My 70-year old father-in-aw has been afflicted by feelings of pins and
needles all over the body from head to toe - especially arms and legs
- eve rsince he had an angioplasty for angina. He describes it as
having been in contact with nettles. With this he has a dry mouth,
sore gums and a 'rushing sound' in his ears. The only relief he has is
when he moves around. This feeling happens from the moment he wakes up
and is especially worse in the evening. So far he has seen the
cardiologist, dermatologist, neurologist and is now trying
acupuncture.
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