Extremely Ticklish Feet – A Brief History

Extremely ticklish feet are not that uncommon, but no one really knows why.  Physiologists, psychologists, sociologists and great thinkers like Plato and Galileo have all tried to explain the tickle response.  Darwin tried to figure out what purpose the tickle response serves from an evolutionary standpoint.

There are many theories, mostly having to do with the need to protect oneself from injury.  The nerve endings that generate the tickle response are the same as those that cause us to feel pain, itch and other sensations. 

When being tickled, we tend to pull away, possibly in an unconscious attempt to protect the sensitive areas of our bodies from injury.  But, that’s just one of the theories.  As I said, no one knows for sure. 

How tickling developed is another source of mystery for scientists of all kinds.  It is believed that parents lightly tickle their children as an act of bonding.  It helps to establish trust. 

Siblings typically tickle each other as a part of roughhousing and regular play.  But, it can be an act of dominance.   

About a third of people surveyed report that they enjoy being tickled.  About the same amount says that they do not enjoy it.  And, the rest are neutral about the subject.

If you have extremely ticklish feet, it may make you feel uncomfortable.  But, you should actually be glad.  It means that the nerve endings and the tiny blood vessels that nourish them are healthy. 

Losing sensation in the foot area is a problem that accompanies a number of diseases, such as diabetes.  It’s important to pay attention to any lost sensitivity in the foot area, since it could be a symptom of an underlying injury or illness.

Anxiety disorders, exposure to toxic substances, cigarette smoking, damage to the discs of the spine and any kind of neuropathy (nerve damage) can lead to lost sensation.  So, if you have had extremely ticklish feet and they suddenly become less ticklish, it could be cause for concern. 

People sometimes fail to properly care for or pay attention to the condition of their sensitive feet, until they start to experience problems.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Regular foot care is important for everyone, but it is particularly important for people with diabetes.  The disease often damages the blood vessels that supply the nerve endings and can eventually cause neuropathies.  Due to the lost sensation, a diabetic person may not notice a small injury, until it becomes infected. 

If you have extremely ticklish feet, be happy and care for them well.  Since they are also probably very sensitive to other stimuli, wear good cushiony socks and comfortable well-designed shoes. 

You might want to avoid the kind that “massage” as you walk.  That might be just a little too much “stimulation”.  Wrap-around slippers and stretchy slip-on styles are good choices for wearing around the house.

There’s no cure for extremely ticklish feet, because it is not a health problem.  In fact, it is a symptom of good health.  So, smile and enjoy!