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A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living: Itch

Before I got to the halfway point on my sense-ble look at this journey to a healthy lifestyle, I wrote about the sense of touch. As I learned further about how all our senses must work together, I can now honestly say that I haven’t even scratched the surface. This brings me to the sense of itch.

woman scratching her skin

The itching sense is very curious. There are many things that can make me itch, and my neural system makes sure I know where to scratch. The second sense of proprioception assists me there. How the simple act of scratching resolves the itch sensation isn’t entirely known. It may be related to the reward center of the brain.

The source of an itch is superficial and not felt inside the body. However, stress, nerves, and most importantly, anxiety can make me feel an itch so deep, I can’t reach it. This is harmful both at physical and emotional levels.

I now have a better sense of the following phrases, “I’m just itching to get started” and “I just need to scratch that itch.” These phrases describe how anxious I felt (sensed) when I found TOPS. I wanted to have instant success, but what would happen if I failed? I have since learned that the journey must be taken slowly and can have many twists and turns.

There are times my anxiety can be that unsatisfiable itch, challenging my efforts to lose weight. Trying to use food to satisfy an itch will not work. It makes the matter worse. Equally challenging is how I dealt with complacency. As I achieved success, I started to wonder, “What’s next?” Call it a three, five- or seven-year itch. At some time during my journey, I thought I had scratched everything off my to-do list in order to manage my goals. I was wrong… I needed the itch to remind me to stay focused on the right scratch for true success.

Making sense of everything isn’t easy. I remind you that I haven’t even scratched the surface on my journey.

There’s one more phrase to share, which is very appropriate to this blog: “You support (scratch) my back, and I’ll support (scratch) yours.” The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know. Now that’s the real head-scratcher.


This is part 13 of the multipart series, “A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living.” In my next blog, we’ll look to the human sense of nociception.

Missed the beginning of our journey through the human senses? Check out the rest of A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living.


1 thought on “A SENSE-ble Look at Healthy Living: Itch

  1. “The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know.” – I say this all the time about “LIFE” in general. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be more forgiving, gentle, understanding… of everyone, including myself.

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