The Mile-High Effect .
11 Nov 2011
Flying makes you randy .
Naturally hairless (glabrous) skin have subcutaneous vascular systems that are used in mammalian thermoregulation . See Appendices A,B,C .
The blood supply to labia minora (women) and glans penis(men) also involves sexual arousal and excitation .
A jet aircraft rapidly ascends , but cabin pressure is stabilized at about 7 000 ft altitude (about a mile high ) .
This rapid ascent decreases the air pressure around the passenger , resulting in blood rushing into these vascular pockets in the hands , feet , lips and genitalia .
Reverse feedback :
The body-state influences the mental state . A well-known effect , and used extensively in therapy .
What happens with aircraft :
Engorgement of genitals :
The body-mind senses this and thinks there must be some reason . Autonomous sexual arousal mechanisms in the genitalia and brain are initiated . Very old and robust mechanisms . Especially if fear is involved .
Young , healthy passengers get extremely aroused . Inhibitions vanish like the clouds outside .
They are elevated to the mile-high club .
Women in the fertile part of their cycle would be especially vulnerable .(Cf recent case of female's over-exuberant sexual approach to a airline steward .)
Alcohol will worsen things , apart from relaxation of inhibitions . Alcohol also relaxes peripheral blood vessels , which increases engorgement even more .
2.Feeling cold :
2.1Sensing the blood rush to the hands and feet , the brain thinks the body must be cold . A feeling of cold results , hence the cabin temperature is thus kept elevated and blankets dished out . This can cause problems on long flights , as the homeostatic mechanism adjusts . Hyperthermia and heatshock can result .
2.2Short-term hypothermia can be problem , especially if a lot of alcohol is consumed . Typical hypothermic symptoms like hallucinations , etc . Google it . A real effect .
3.All that blood rushing hither-and-yon will tax the vascular system , especially in unfit persons not used to aerobic exercise . Turbulence in the veins and arteries , especially as they are also dilated by the decreased pressure , causes a greater threat of blood-clots forming . The longer limbs like the legs are more vulnerable . Hence DVT(deep vein thrombosis) on flights . Or roughness on vascular walls (like with plaques) .
4.Pressure in the brain .
Humans simply have not evolved to handle rapid external pressure changes . The only serious research has been done by the military . Note that Grahn and Heller has major military contracts .
But it will have some effect , major if the passenger has some brain abnormality and/or the Eustachian tubes are blocked .
5.Feet will swell .
Don't wear tight shoes . Try not to cling to the baggage racks with your toes .
6.Fingers will swell
(See Appendix B : ventral portions of the fingers are glabrous)
This will decrease musical abilities across the board .
Many sports and other abilities depending on tactile rhythm and pattern perception (tennis , violin , darts , cricket , surgery , etc) will take some time to recover after a flight .
How long ?
I don't know . Research is really needed .
At present , I would refuse to be operated on by a doctor that has flown within the last 24 hours .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Human Nails” Aug 2007
7.Fluctuating atmospheric pressures over selected body areas .
Humans have evolved to associate hyperbaric with heat and hypobaric with cold .
Interesting effects can be obtained by varying these over selected portions of the human anatomy , especially if heating or cooling is also selectively applied .
This is possible because so few , highly delimited areas are involved .
Glabrous is glamorous .
A new Dimension of reality in virtual reality , having real physiological effects .
Lots of money in really cool effects in games .
This is already being applied .
The mile-high club is one example . The usage incidence of hypobaric chambers is unknown .
But we are all familiar with the spam about “penile enlargement” involving low-pressure .
Sigh . This does not work too well , because it sends contradictory signals to the body .
The glans engorgement signals both coldness and arousement to the body . The body decides which is which on the basis of temperature , mostly . If the apparatus is not at least 1-2 celsius warmer than body mean (38 C) , it concludes “It's cold outside , babe” and shrinks accordingly . The rest of the body gets conditioned to associate sex with coldness .
Not exactly what was in mind .
Spontaneous combustion is known , but spontaneous refrigeration ?
The mind (and other parts) boggle .
Incorporating Variable Vascular Heat Exchangers Into Models Of Human Thermoregulation
Dennis A. Grahn, Howard L. Davidson, H. Craig Heller
Last modified: 2011-03-20
Models of human thermoregulatory function generally assume that heat transfer across the skin surface is uniform. However, only glabrous skin regions contain unique vascular structures that enable a large volume of blood to flow immediately below the skin surface. These are the body’s radiators. We are constructing a novel model of thermoregulatory function that incorporates heat transfer across the glabrous skin regions as separate from heat transfer across the general skin surface.
On the human body, glabrous skin is external skin that naturally is hairless. It is found on theventral portion of the fingers, palmar surfaces of hands, soles of feet, lips, labia minora, and glans penis.
Patent No. 7,947,068
Controlled heat transfer with mammalian bodies: In the 1990s Stanford University biologists Dennis Grahn and H. Craig Heller discovered a novel way of treating patients with a condition known as postanesthetic hypothermia, in which patients emerging from anesthesia are so cold that they shiver for up to an hour. The condition develops in part because anesthesia reduces the body’s ability to control its own temperature. Applying heat alone does not always help, so Grahn and Heller tried another approach: they increased the volume of blood flowing to the skin of patients’ hands and then applied heat to the same area. “These people were fine within 10 minutes,” Grahn says. “Then the question was, ‘What the heck is going on here?’”
They had stumbled on a feature of mammalian biology that can be manipulated for a wide array of other applications, including ones requiring cooling. Among these uses is increasing athletic endurance, because overheating is one of the primary factors limiting physical performance. One of the main ways the human body regulates internal temperature is by controlling the amount of blood flow through nonhairy skin areas, such as the palms, the cheeks, the nose and the soles of the feet. Underneath the skin of these areas are unique vascular structures designed to deliver large volumes of blood to the surface. When the body needs to release heat, it expands these vessels and floods the area with blood, throwing off heat through the skin. The body holds in heat by constricting blood flow to these areas.
Patent No. 7,947,068 outlines a variety of ways to manipulate these processes. One, called the Glove, is already in use by the San Francisco 49ers. Players stick their hand into the coffeepot-size device, which creates an airtight seal around the wrist. The Glove then uses a pressure differential to draw blood to the palm and rapidly cool it, which leads to an overall decrease in body temperature. The device can be used at any point during a game and takes only a few minutes to work. Tests in the lab, Grahn says, have shown that devices like the Glove can dramatically increase athletic output and reduce heat stress.