Sunday, 17 May 2009
The ulnar nerve is the nerve that runs from your elbow to your hand. If you hold your arm out so that your thumb is pointing up, it runs from just behind your elbow to your pinkie and ring finger, along the bottom of your arm. If you bruise this nerve, you can cause some very weird sensations. I know, because I recently did just that. It causes your hand to tingle (mostly located in the pinkie and ring finer and the part of the palm just underneath those fingers). Even though the damage has occurred to my elbow, my brain interprets it as if it were coming from my hand. Pushing on the nerve can have the same effect.
This got me to thinking, that if I were a superstitious person, could I be convinced that I'm feeling some sort of presence from god? Could I think that god is somehow touching me? I've done no damage to my hand, yet I feel this tingle that won't subside. What if it happened to a different nerve and I felt the tingle elsewhere?
If I had knowledge of these nerve points, could I induce these feelings in other people and tell them that it is the hand of god touching them? Yes, I bet I could, and I bet that some people already do this, whether they are aware of the biological explanation or not. This is most likely part of the arsenal of some faith healers out there or others who claim to be able to bring god into your body (or whatever else they claim). And, this succeeds because gullible people are too uninformed about the processes of the body and all too willing to believe that god really is touching them. It's rather sad, actually, that with just a little bit of education, we could shield these gullible people from the charlatans that would take advantage of their beliefs for a quick buck or to push their agenda.