Well this story has cheered us up on this rather dull Wednesday. A spa in Spain has opened, offering 'tickle therapy' as a treatment. TICKLING. As a relaxation method. We can't help but imagine a room full of people, rolling around in fits of laughter as they're sent into some sort of tickle-based frenzy. An adorable concept, perhaps, but relaxing? Surely not...
The treatment takes place in a darkened room, accompanied with soothing music and incense. Tickling then commences with fingertips and then a feather.
A tickle therapist told TIME magazine that the experience is gentle enough for even the ticklish. Yeah right - we're squirming just thinking about it...
'We use a variety of strokes. If someone is super-ticklish, we'll press harder. The idea is to relax them, not stress them out.'
But neuroscienticst Robert R. Provine says that 'tickling someone is going to be arousing, not relaxing... [a] tickle is going to get your blood pressure and heart rate up.'
Provine goes on to explain why tickling can be so unpleasant, saying that when you're powerless to stop it, tickling stops being fun.
Hmm. Suddenley the tickle spa seems much less appealing. That room of gleeful, chuckling people that we imagined earlier has suddenly become a space full of angry spa-goers, demanding their money back.