What Causes Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: Biblical Roots in a Medical Diagnosis
Getting back into a routine has proven to be a bit precarious this time. It seems like as the season of fall arrives, so do errands and holiday plans. The list grows deeper and before we know it, we've obtained a full "to-do" list. For us, it seems our family has grown since the last blog post which seems forever ago. We've acquired a new kitten who was a rescue and have a baby on the way. Our family is now my husband, our adult cat Izzy, our kitten Sandy, the baby on the way, and myself. On top of prenatal appointments are plans currently in the works to move back to my husband's home of record, meaning that the blog will (once again) be on hold. As I find downtime this morning, I wanted to get back to writing before that time quickly slips away.
This blog post stems from a unique observation. A few days ago, my husband and I were watching a YouTube clip of one of our favorite TV shows called "The Doctors." For those of you who are not familiar with it (as I wasn't at first!), the show casts a series of real-life, board-certified providers in a range of specialties with unique cases that have been encountered. This one particular episode caught my attention. In the episode, about four doctors were discussing what is known as "mirror touch synesthesia." One doctor on the panel, Dr. Joel Salinas of Massachusetts General Hospital, was describing this condition in the first person as he was diagnosed with the rare condition. As the episode played out, one scripture kept repeating in my mind. Read below for further details.
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Mirror Touch Synesthesia
Mirror-Touch Synesthesia, or mirror-touch, is "the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched," according to PubMed.gov. It is a rare condition that stems from a part of the brain known as the "mirror-touch system." This condition is not limited to touch, however. It also sympathizes with pain as well. For example, this same system is responsible for what is known as "contagious yawning." Even though there is no physical ramification to yawn while you may not be tired while seeing someone else yawn, the mind is sympathizing with the other person yawning and therefore mirrors the reaction (see what I did there?). When someone else is hurting physically or even emotionally, this same mirror-touch system also generates a sort of mirror reflection of the pain.
Below is an article from PubMed.gov detailing Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.
A High Priest Who Can Sympathize
The scripture that kept running through my mind during "The Doctors" episode was from Hebrews 4:15.
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:13, NASB).
Before seeing this episode, my mind always concluded that Jesus, while on Earth, was tempted and tried in ALL things as we are, but since He was also divine in nature being fully God incarnate, was without sin. Due to this trial while on Earth before the crucifixion and resurrection, the scripture gives a physical account as to God being able to not only sympathize with our trials, but give an account as to why they are able to be overcame as He has overcome the world. While this conclusion is both logical and Biblical, I saw this scripture on a more profound level.
God created humans both intricately and uniquely, fashioned in His image. The discovery of "mirror-touch synesthesia" further demonstrates the mind of the Creator and how we mirror (no pun intended) His unique imprint, delicately woven down to the threads of DNA and even the non-seen complicated processes of the mind. This discovery also highlights the accountability seen in Romans 1:20.
"For since the creation of the world His i