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Why Is Your First Instinct After Hurting Your Finger to Put It in Your Mouth? – Mental Floss

This self-soothing behavior is actually a pretty effective technique for temporarily calming pain signals to the brain. Here’s how it works.

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If you close your fingers in a car door or slam your funny bone into a wall, you might find your first reaction is to suck on your fingers or rub your elbow. Not only is this an instinctive self-soothing behavior, it’s a pretty effective technique for temporarily calming pain signals to the brain.
But how and why does it work? To understand, you need to know about the dominant theory of how pain is communicated in the body.
In the 17th century, French scientist and philosopher René Descartes p…

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