This concept may be important in chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I am starting to wonder if it explains the phenomenon that I sometimes see in the clinic, that patients need less and less stimulation for clinical response. Indeed, sometimes more needling leads to lower HRV and poorer response. A topic for further study for sure.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Apr;42:134-45. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Jan 29.
Brain sensitization to external and internal stimuli.
Sensitization is defined as a non-associative learning process occurring when repeated administrations of a stimulus result in a progressive amplification of a response (Shettleworth, 2010). The purpose of this review paper is to discuss whether brain sensitization is helpful in common health problems in man. The paper reviews data on brain sensitization covering increased behavioral, physiological, cognitive, and emotional responses in man and animals. The paper concludes that brain sensitization may be a helpful concept to understand subjective and “unexplained” health complaints (nonspecific muscle pain, mood changes, fatigue, and gastrointestinal complaints), and, therefore, relevant for evidence based treatment and prevention of these common health problems