November 15

According to Dr. Elaine Aron, the author of the national bestseller, Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), about 15-20% of the population may have the trait of high sensitivity. Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to your surroundings. Your brain reacts deeper to the signals sent by your sense organs. You are easily overstimulated, stressed out and overwhelmed by stresses others think nothing of.


According to Dr. Elaine Aron, you are probably an HSP if you:

  • Are easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or nearby sirens
  • Become stressed when there is a lot to do in a short amount of time
  • Need to withdraw after a busy day into a place that offers privacy and relief from the situation
  • Notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art
  • Have a rich and complex inner life
  • As a child, was perceived by parents or teachers as sensitive or shy

Your child is probably a Highly Sensitive Child if he/she:

  • Complains about scratchy clothing, seams in socks, or labels against his/her skin
  • Is sensitive to sound, smells and texture
  • Learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment
  • Is hard to get to sleep after an exciting day
  • Doesn’t do well with big changes
  • Notices the distress of others
  • Is a perfectionist
  • Performs best when strangers aren’t present
  • Feels things deeply

Psychological aspect of the HSP have been well studied. However, physiological aspect of the Highly Sensitive has never been mentioned or discussed. Here I introduce a new term, the Highly Sensitive Body (HSB), a model system to study physiological characteristics of this special population, their unique health concerns and the special lifestyle and dietary requirements for them to maintain a healthy and balanced life.

Tips to thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person:

  • Learn to be self-aware and recognize your emotions.
  • In times of intense emotions like anxiety, stress, sadness, or overwhelm, remind yourself that emotions are temporary states.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Manage stress! Ways to manage stress include a strong foundation of proper nutrition, regular exercise, a yoga or meditation practice, confiding in trusted friends or a counselor, acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Make sleep a priority.
  • Cultivate self-compassion, replacing self-criticism with kindness, gratitude, and patience.
  • Take a time out if you need it.
  • Learn to say no when needed to protect against overwhelm, and cultivate healthy boundaries.

While these can help with some situation, as mentioned there is little being done to address the physiological characteristics of being a Highly Sensitive Person. Kimberly Netling is a licensed acupuncturist specialized in holistic healing for the Highly Sensitive. She teaches highly sensitive people to listen to their body and take charge of their own health. With her own systematic protocol that includes Chinese medicine, modern homeopathy, energetic testing and allergy desensitization, Dr. Netling helps Highly Sensitive people to gain back their immune strength and get their life back. Her acupuncture clinic is in Vero Beach, Florida. Book an appointment now!


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