Our bodies are pretty incredible! From what starts as a teeny tiny embryo and what grows into a full-fledged adult human body is just miraculous itself, but when you factor in all the other amazing things we can do, it’s just mind blowing! Yet, as amazing as our bodies are, they can also be a little…weird. They do things we can’t always understand and may even have you mesmerized from time to time. Today we will look at a few of the odd things these really amazing bodies do and see why we are a little weird.
What is more annoying than a case of the hiccups? They can come out of nowhere and at the worst times possible. But why? According to Robert George and Medical News Today “Sometimes hiccups will occur because of a disturbance to the nerve pathways from the brain to the muscles involved. This explains why hiccups may occur with temperature changes or emotional situations. It is also the reason that a sudden shock can sometimes abolish an attack.” Hmm… so there is a scientific reason but unfortunately not all remedies work for each person on trying to halt them. George does say that, “Simply holding your breath is often effective. Breathing into a paper bag, the best remedy, increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs, relaxing the diaphragm and halting the spasms.” While hiccups may seem weird, they are pretty normal.
Have you ever had a case of the heebie jeebies? You know that weird twinge in the body that makes us feel uncomfortable. Some people get it when they look at a picture of blood; others get it when they see a spider. It’s hard to describe but you certainly know when you get that skin-crawling feeling, which is actually called “formication.” Healthline.com tells us, “Formication is the feeling of insects crawling across or underneath your skin…Formication is known as a type of paresthesia. Paresthesia happens when you feel sensations on your skin that don’t have a physical cause. Paresthesia can take many forms. These can include burning, tingling, or numbness. With formication, you might also describe the “crawling” sensation as feeling like “pins and needles.” Formication is also called a tactile hallucination. This means that you’re feeling a sensation that has no physical cause.” Interesting right? We are feeling a sensation with no physical cause and is a form of tactile hallucination. The good news for most of us this is a temporary reaction and sensation, but if yours is lingering there is treatment available, so don’t be worried about reaching out to your doctor.
Talking of skin, what about goosebumps? Those little bumps that can make your arm look like chicken skin in seconds from seeing something scary or even getting a thrill or great news. Goosebumps are certainly a weird reaction in our bodies, but why? George A. Bubenik, a physiologist and professor of zoology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, explains. “The reason for this is the physiology of emotions. Goosebumps are a physiological phenomenon inherited from our animal ancestors, which was useful to them but are not of much help to us. Goosebumps are tiny elevations of the skin that resemble the skin of poultry after the feathers have been plucked. These bumps are caused by a contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair. Each contracting muscle creates a shallow depression on the skin surface, which causes the surrounding area to protrude. The contraction also causes the hair to stand up whenever the body feels cold. In animals with a thick hair coat this rising of hair expands the layer of hair that serves as insulation. The thicker the hair layer, the more heat is retained. In people this reaction is useless because we do not have a hair coat, but goosebumps persist nevertheless.”
All-in-all even though our bodies do some pretty weird things, they are all pretty normal. While you may think you are “different” for some of your body’s reactions, most of the time they are pretty average. Of course if yours are becoming more frequent or seem to linger longer and longer it may be time to give your health care provider a call just to be sure. There is never any shame in reaching out about something you aren’t sure about with your body. That is what doctors are for!
There are tons of things that make our bodies super cool, yet still kind of weird. Did you know? We are born with 300 bones and that turns into 206? Our heartbeats can sync to music? When we blush we also blush inside our stomachs? That every organ we have two of, but need one of them to survive? We get shorter throughout the day! Our tongues have a print as unique as our finger prints and so on and so on. When it comes to being human we are gifted with so many different qualities we can’t even fathom them, but sometimes those gifts do tend to be a bit weird too. The good news is you aren’t the only weirdo out there! We are all a little weird!
Director of The Wellness Center