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Ticklish feet are a defense mechanism

Ticklish Feet Are a Defense Mechanism

There is no doubt about it. Ticklish feet makes us laugh. This may seem like a good thing but having ticklish feet, especially when barefoot, often causes us to laugh uncontrollably making us a victim to the bully tickler. You may even squirm and giggle when someone gives you a pedicure or foot massage because of your ticklish feet. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to control your ticklish feet. This is because ‘being tickled’ is the body’s natural way of defending itself.

The main reason why we laugh when our feet are being tickled is because your body thinks it is being attacked. If you have ever tried to tickle yourself before, you probably realized that it is hard to do. This is because your body knows exactly what your next move is. After all, it is your brain. You cannot trick or deceive your brain. It knows exactly where you plan to tickle yourself. If someone else tries to tickle you, it sends your brain mixed signals. Your brain recognizes the attacker as harmless, but does not know what the attacker’s next move will be. It is a surprise attack!

Being tickled is a way for humans to protect themselves from bugs and insects. Imagine how you feel when you think a bug is on you. You imagine the insect crawling on your skin, which gives you the “creepy crawling” feeling. This “creepy crawling” feeling is better known as a tickling sensation. When an insect tickles your feet, arm or any other part of your body, your body tells you to jump! Something is on you and your body is trying to warn you. The same thing happens when a friend or partner tickles you. That tickle feeling is a warning that something is touching you.

Why do ticklish feet cause us to laugh?

The explanation is simple. Having ticklish feet causes us to laugh because it is in fact a panic response. If a bug was on you, your natural instinct would be to panic. What would happen if someone you did not know came up and tickled you? You would experience a great deal of alarm and also fear. When you recognize the attacker, you are more comfortable and you will laugh harder. Tickling is a form of social play. Although ticklish feet may have you at someone else’s mercy, it can still be an enjoyable experience. Not everyone has ticklish feet, but most of us are ticklish somewhere. The only thing you can do to avoid ticklish feet is hide!

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