4

votes

What is "flinching"? How do you minimize it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM

I've always had a really strong "flinching" reflex. Someone merely pats my head unexpectedly, and I jump back halfway across the room in surprise. What causes flinching? If it's symptomatic of an overly sensitive nervous system, how do I overcome the underlying cause?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Wow! I would've fallen over backward avoiding that ball.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:50 PM

That's an interesting angle but I was a baby in the late 40s and I walked at 10 months (I'm told) without much carriage or any stroller locomotion. Also, I was the opposite of ADHD--I'm a bookworm and I can sit quietly all day.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:46 PM

shah78, I don't think I described myself as jumpy although I do have a strong startle reflex and maybe it's just semantics. Nor do I feel a jot of venom, so if that's how I came across I apologize. What I'm trying to express is that I don't think I need repair because I'm not broken. I'm just near one end of the normal continuum of human responses to surprise. It's okay to be different.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:43 PM

:-)) raydawg, one advantage to being an ancient crone is people don't try to startle you. They're too afraid you'll have a heart attack or something!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 04:55 PM

I'm pretty sure that my (and others') hyperreflexia aren't due to adrenal fatigue without any other symptoms of adrenal fatigue present.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:52 PM

The man has ardrenal glands the size of an elephant. I don't envy the man's money, fame,wife, girlfriends. I envy those big "little" organs sitting above his kidneys. Great link.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:47 PM

@Olga. I don't understand your recent comment.(a) Fixing adrenal issues are a true mindf*ck!(b) Living with adrenal issues for the next thirty years is even worse.(c) Not fixing them brings one eventually to an Alzheimer Ward . I choice (a) . Once you get the "diagnosis"you change your life (Paleo et al.) and the adrenals heal. Let's keep talking if you want to fix it. I'm happy to keep going, but I don't want to be accused of trying to "Fix others" if they don't want to. :)

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:08 PM

If they do it for fun, just punch'em in the nose and say Sorry, it's a reflex, they won't do it again. :-D

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:56 PM

That paradox happens to me to a tee. Give me a real crisis to deal with, and the whole world slows down. Every one else is hyperventilating. My theory. The rush of cortisol produced brings us up to "Normal. Then after the event, we quickly return to our low "normal" and bang, headache, cuased by exhausted adrenals.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:35 PM

@Olga and Matt. Every "alternative" medicine site I've read mentions "exagerated response to sudden stimuli" as a symtom of Adrenal fatique. Ayurvedicly we'd call it too much vata. Jumpy. Ie ME. @ Nance. Why the venom? She asked a question and I gave my opinion. My expert opinion, since used to be King of Jumpy. If you are jumpy and don't want to "fix it, fine, I prefered to "Fix" my jumpiness. At the same time I fixed my "jumpiness" I fixed DOZENs or related low cortisol problems.That saliva test explained 52 years of bullshit going on in my body. It cost me $100. It saved my life. Peace

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Well, I think that's my fault, Nance. I did ask for a fix. However, given how incredibly hard adrenal problems are to fix, I'm not really sure how diagnosing them changes anyone's life.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Why presume "What is flinching?" doesn't have any bearing on the topics of this site?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Why is it every time we talk about human differences, someone sees a need to "fix" us? I'm happy as I am, strong startle or not, and I don't expect people with a weak startle reflex to take a prescription either.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 12:03 AM

How does low cortisol lead to hyperreflexia?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 29, 2011
at 12:03 AM

I really hate it when people do that to me too. I was never one for playing jokes on people, or having them played on me, and I react poorly to them. I will be pissed off for like an hour afterwards if someone tries to pull that kind of trick on me.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Same, I've noticed no difference since going on paleo.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:57 PM

What makes you think it's low cortisol?

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:56 PM

I get angry too! It makes for some awkward social interactions.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I startle easily, too, especially if I think I am alone and I am concentrating on something. While I do have some anxiety issues, I've had a strong startle reaction all my life--predating my anxiety issues which did not surface until adulthood. I have always attributed it to my ability to block out everything else around me when I am focused on something--to the extent that I am always surprised when the real world intrudes, lol.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I startle easily, too, especially if I think I am alone and I am concentrating on something. While I do have some anxiety issues, I've had a strong startle reaction all my life. I have always attributed it to my ability to block out everything else around me when I am focused on something--to the extent that I am always surprised when the real world intrudes, lol.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:26 PM

For me, it's been lifelong. My brother learned not to say "Boo!" because I'd haul off and punch him. Being scared and startled may be fun for others, but NOT for me. As far as a connection to anxiety, I'd have to say I can be more anxious than those around me, but that's usually when nothing bad has happened yet. When there is a crisis, I'm the rock everyone turns to and when it's safe again I go have a migraine. :-))

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I am curious too, my husband startles at the slightest touch or sound. I remember hearing something about that being caused by a vitamin deficiency or something, but now I can't remember. (Versus some trauma induced over hyper-awareness/sensitivity -which he does not have).

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9 Answers

3
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Do you mean flinching as in, "easily startled"?

If so, it could be an anxiety disorder, PTSD for example. How long have you been paleo eating? My own experience is that my anxiety related symptoms included being easily startled, also obsessive thinking and big emotional reactions. Paleo eating (actually GAPS) has really helped me in the last 10 months. I'm more relaxed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:56 PM

That paradox happens to me to a tee. Give me a real crisis to deal with, and the whole world slows down. Every one else is hyperventilating. My theory. The rush of cortisol produced brings us up to "Normal. Then after the event, we quickly return to our low "normal" and bang, headache, cuased by exhausted adrenals.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:26 PM

For me, it's been lifelong. My brother learned not to say "Boo!" because I'd haul off and punch him. Being scared and startled may be fun for others, but NOT for me. As far as a connection to anxiety, I'd have to say I can be more anxious than those around me, but that's usually when nothing bad has happened yet. When there is a crisis, I'm the rock everyone turns to and when it's safe again I go have a migraine. :-))

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:04 PM

I always said I had a strong "startle" reflex and it's probably the same thing. When something makes me flinch I seem to have a stronger reaction and my breathing goes nuts for 5-10 minutes.

If someone startles me, say to be funny, I have such a strong reaction I get angry instead of laughing.

I think this is just a normal place on the human continuum. Yes, I am more sensitive/reactive than many, but I don't think it's any more abnormal than those who are at the other end. In fact, in paleolithic times I may have survived the threat and the "steady" folks may have gotten eaten. Who knows?

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:56 PM

I get angry too! It makes for some awkward social interactions.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I startle easily, too, especially if I think I am alone and I am concentrating on something. While I do have some anxiety issues, I've had a strong startle reaction all my life. I have always attributed it to my ability to block out everything else around me when I am focused on something--to the extent that I am always surprised when the real world intrudes, lol.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I startle easily, too, especially if I think I am alone and I am concentrating on something. While I do have some anxiety issues, I've had a strong startle reaction all my life--predating my anxiety issues which did not surface until adulthood. I have always attributed it to my ability to block out everything else around me when I am focused on something--to the extent that I am always surprised when the real world intrudes, lol.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 29, 2011
at 12:03 AM

I really hate it when people do that to me too. I was never one for playing jokes on people, or having them played on me, and I react poorly to them. I will be pissed off for like an hour afterwards if someone tries to pull that kind of trick on me.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:08 PM

If they do it for fun, just punch'em in the nose and say Sorry, it's a reflex, they won't do it again. :-D

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:43 PM

:-)) raydawg, one advantage to being an ancient crone is people don't try to startle you. They're too afraid you'll have a heart attack or something!

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I, too, flinch quite easily. The few times I've visited the doctor they seem to test reflexes in the knee and then proceed to check other areas (apparently isolated hyperreflexia are more of a concern than systemic hyperreflexia). I have pretty over-active reflexes all over my body, so I've always chalked up my flinching to having an over-active nervous system. I've noticed no difference going paleo myself.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Same, I've noticed no difference since going on paleo.

1
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on November 28, 2011
at 11:39 PM

Full contact martial arts sparring practice worked really well to tune my startle response. Not for everyone, of course.

0
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:02 PM

I'll just leave this here.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:52 PM

The man has ardrenal glands the size of an elephant. I don't envy the man's money, fame,wife, girlfriends. I envy those big "little" organs sitting above his kidneys. Great link.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Wow! I would've fallen over backward avoiding that ball.

0
Medium avatar

on November 29, 2011
at 03:29 AM

How about this: "Flinching" is a term that gets used to describe a rather wide range of phenomena, ranging from stuff that's neurologically based to behaviors related to being startled. Why presume "What is flinching?" has specific or specialized bearing on the topics of this site - namely the Paleo approach to diet and exercise?

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Why presume "What is flinching?" doesn't have any bearing on the topics of this site?

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I remember reading something on this before. You get a spike of adrenaline when it happens? How about thunder from a storm? Sounds like a non-integrated Moro reflex. The Moro reflex is a startle type reflex in babies, that's supposed to go away in 3-4 months. Supposedly it was extending longer/into adulthood because of baby strollers (the ones that hang the baby suspended, so they're like walking around in the stroller). The theory was that crawling helped integrate it into the brain when a baby, and going directly to walking strollers bypassed that integration. I don't know how true that is, but the claim was they used rythmic movement training (to simulate that transition) to desensitize the reflex. Kids with ADHD are supposed to have this as well. I don't have it, so it was a bit of an academic read for me.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:50 PM

That's an interesting angle but I was a baby in the late 40s and I walked at 10 months (I'm told) without much carriage or any stroller locomotion. Also, I was the opposite of ADHD--I'm a bookworm and I can sit quietly all day.

0
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on November 29, 2011
at 01:58 AM

My first thought was that you just have really good reflexes. Still think that may be the case, assuming nothing else here rings true with you. I jump at unexpected touches, too -- but it doesn't make me mad, and I don't instinctively try to lash out at the source. Also, I'm pretty easygoing, as a rule.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Low cortisol. Get a saliva test. $100. It will change your life.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 03:47 PM

@Olga. I don't understand your recent comment.(a) Fixing adrenal issues are a true mindf*ck!(b) Living with adrenal issues for the next thirty years is even worse.(c) Not fixing them brings one eventually to an Alzheimer Ward . I choice (a) . Once you get the "diagnosis"you change your life (Paleo et al.) and the adrenals heal. Let's keep talking if you want to fix it. I'm happy to keep going, but I don't want to be accused of trying to "Fix others" if they don't want to. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:35 PM

@Olga and Matt. Every "alternative" medicine site I've read mentions "exagerated response to sudden stimuli" as a symtom of Adrenal fatique. Ayurvedicly we'd call it too much vata. Jumpy. Ie ME. @ Nance. Why the venom? She asked a question and I gave my opinion. My expert opinion, since used to be King of Jumpy. If you are jumpy and don't want to "fix it, fine, I prefered to "Fix" my jumpiness. At the same time I fixed my "jumpiness" I fixed DOZENs or related low cortisol problems.That saliva test explained 52 years of bullshit going on in my body. It cost me $100. It saved my life. Peace

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 04:55 PM

I'm pretty sure that my (and others') hyperreflexia aren't due to adrenal fatigue without any other symptoms of adrenal fatigue present.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:46 PM

shah78, I don't think I described myself as jumpy although I do have a strong startle reflex and maybe it's just semantics. Nor do I feel a jot of venom, so if that's how I came across I apologize. What I'm trying to express is that I don't think I need repair because I'm not broken. I'm just near one end of the normal continuum of human responses to surprise. It's okay to be different.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 12:03 AM

How does low cortisol lead to hyperreflexia?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Why is it every time we talk about human differences, someone sees a need to "fix" us? I'm happy as I am, strong startle or not, and I don't expect people with a weak startle reflex to take a prescription either.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 29, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Well, I think that's my fault, Nance. I did ask for a fix. However, given how incredibly hard adrenal problems are to fix, I'm not really sure how diagnosing them changes anyone's life.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on November 28, 2011
at 11:57 PM

What makes you think it's low cortisol?

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