Spontaneous bodily sensations

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Spontaneous tactile sensations are the experience of sensations across the body occurring without any obvious or immediate physical trigger. This results in feelings of seemingly random but distinct tingling sensations that occur across the skin and within the body. Depending on the psychoactive substance consumed, these vary greatly in their styles of sensation. This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the three different levels of intensity described below:

  1. Mild - At the lowest level, the sensation can be described as subtle and fleeting tingling sensations throughout the body. These sensations do not impair physical motor control and can essentially be ignored if one wishes to do so.
  2. Distinct - At this level, the sensation becomes very difficult to ignore. It can be described as distinct tingling sensations which are intense enough to partially impair a person’s motor control and act as a significant distraction which impairs one's focus.
  3. Overwhelming – At the highest level, the tingling sensations increase enough to become a powerful, uncontrollable focus point of the person's attention. This can feel completely overwhelming and heavily impairs a person's motor control, leaving them either lying or sitting down, incapable of standing up due to the all-encompassing sensations.

Spontaneous tactile sensations are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as tactile intensification and physical euphoria. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur under the influence of stimulants, cannabinoids, and dissociatives.


The specific differences between each potential style of spontaneous bodily sensation can be broken down into the following variations:

  • Moving vs. Motionless – Spontaneous physical sensations will either move up and down various parts of the body in different directions or they will remain still and consistent in their position.
  • Constant vs. Spontaneous – Spontaneous physical sensations will either be constantly present throughout a significant portion of the experience or they will spontaneously and temporarily manifest themselves at random points for differing lengths of time.
  • Sharp vs. Soft – Spontaneous physical sensations will either be perceived as sharp, cold, and electric or as soft, warm, and gentle.
  • All-encompassing vs. Location specific - Spontaneous physical sensations can either be felt across every square inch of the skin in an evenly distributed fashion or in very specific locations such as the ends of the fingers and toes, up and down the spinal column or throughout the head.
  • Euphoric vs. Dysphoric – At appropriately high dosages, spontaneous bodily sensations can either be interpreted as pleasurable to experience or they can manifest in the opposite direction and become uncomfortable to experience.

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

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Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

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See also