Common steps and sub-activities

Fist clenching

Zone therapy – Dr William Fitzgerald

In the days before the blessed era of nitrous oxide and local anaesthetics, when the muscular dentist leaned towards the door with our pet tooth in the firm embrace of shiny forceps, we helped him to the utmost by gripping the arms of the chair with a vise like clutch.  This manoevre seemingly had no more connection with tooth extraction than have the effulgent rays of the moon upon the pumpkin crop.  But we felt it our duty and we did it.

When fury and anger sweep us in their red flame and gentle familiar aspects of nature take in the hue of blood, we clench our fists until the nails are driven deep in the flesh.  In the first shock of the agony of bereavement, or during those cruel dragging hours when we are adjusting ourselves to living with our hearts torn asunder, we clasp our hands in frenzy

For ages we have been doing these things because they are natural and apparently inevitable.  We did them automatically, without knowing why.  But now we know.

We do these things because they relieve pain and nervous tension – because they produce a form of analgesia, or pain deadening.