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Mirror-Touch Synesthesia (MTS)

click here for a free reading at PsychicAccess.comScience is catching up with the empath, literally. Recently I came across a fascinating book titles Mirror Touch by Dr. Joel Salinas, a Harvard trained researcher and neurologist at Massachusetts General. It explores the phenomenon of Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) – a rare neurological trait that causes someone to feel the emotional and physical experiences of other people.

The word synesthesia means joined perception, or to blend the five senses. Science recognizes over 80 types of synesthesia.

Because of Dr. Salinas and other brave professionals, science is sitting up and taking notice and actually exploring the brain and how it functions in individuals with these traits. Dr. Salinas uses his ability of feeling the emotional and physical pain of his patients to treat their symptoms, as if they were his own. The experience for him and others like him is challenging and draining.

Scientists now believe that MTS is linked to the neurons located in the brain responsible for transmitting electrical signals through our body. These signals flow from the brain through the body and communicate what we are feeling and sensing. With MTS the neurons specifically are those linked to the premotor cortex. Interestingly, this is the part of our brain that is responsible for planning future action.

I was struck by the similarities between empath experiences and those with MTS. In fact according to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of the book Emotional Freedom, who counsels the highly empathic, many of those with MTS are empaths, but not all empaths are synesthetes. Empaths absorb the emotions of others into their body and mind, while those with MTS experience the physical pain and sensations in the body of those around them.

From internalizing the moods (good or bad) of others, to feeling sensations in the same part of our bodies where others are injured, there are many expressions of this trait, borne of special neurons which are only now beginning to be understood ~ Maureen Seaberg

Being susceptible to the pain of others is something many empaths are well aware of. These encounters blur the lines between where we end and another begins. Dr. Orloff counsels both in her practice, and the techniques she recommends for both are very similar including visualization, meditation exercises, setting emotional boundaries, and so on. Self-care is crucial to both empaths and those with MTS. Without such care, confusion, chaos and enmeshed relationships can evolve. As many of us are aware, this can lead to stress and a multitude of physical symptoms and ailments.

Every day more and more professionals, in all walks of life, are coming forward and applying their unique unorthodox gifts to help others. In doing so they can potentially face ridicule, doubt, exclusion and sometimes the loss of family and friends. It requires a brave, unselfish heart, the capacity to see past the pain of others, and step in with an open hand and mind to offer clarity and relief to those who seek it.

The fact that science is now advancing in this area and exploring this aspect of the brain, and acknowledging the existence of these experiences that empaths and those with MTS have, is validating and exciting! For those of us who spent many years questioning ourselves, this is indeed welcome news.

About The Author: Angelic Heights

Empathic, intuitive, psychic from a very young age, Angelic Heights (Gail) learned well the importance of using her gifts for the highest good. Marriage and a career in the paralegal field occupied her until her early 30's. Accurate, compassionate and direct, her focus now is entirely on enlightening, uplifting, inspiring and guiding those who seek her counsel. Get a reading right now with her at

2 Responses to Mirror-Touch Synesthesia (MTS)

  • I have a form of this. Mine is not mirrored. But, if I see someone get hurt, whether in front of me or on television. I get horrific sharp shooting pains up the backs of my legs. This pain is intensified if I see a loved one, especially my children injured. The pain is only for a brief moment. If it were any longer, it would completely incapacitate me. I have experienced this for as long as I can remember. When I was only 3 years old., I asked my mother if this happened to everyone. She didn’t know what I was talking about, so she said “yes”. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I found out, it doesn’t happen to the majority.

    Thank you Angelic Heights, for writing about this subject!!

  • You are most welcome. Your gift is an intense one for you physically but also a very powerful one. You walk the path of a healer. Know that you are not alone and I encourage you to continue to gather information and seek out information and knowledge about this unique gift. You are not alone, step into your gift. I wish you peace and success.

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