Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OUCH! #Brainfreeze Can be a Real Pain | New #Painting

It's the middle of Summer folks. What do you consume to cool down? Ice cold water, ice cream, cold beer, gelato, etc.

Ever get that painful feeling by your forehead, lasting less than a minute, when you consume these treats too fast? Yes, brain freeze can be painful.

I represented that in my latest Brain Series painting with icicles going into ones forehead. The culprit, ice cream...chocolate ice cream with sprinkles arranged as an image of the brain.

This guy was craving the ice cream, took one big bite, then OUCH! The bite even took out the front part of the brain sprinkles.

[View some pictures of this painting in progress below]
There is a medical term for this phenomenon, sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, don't ask me to pronounce that.

What's going in my head?

Well brain freeze is triggered when something of an extreme temperature touches the roof of your mouth. So with something cold, your body's immediate reaction is to want to warm that area up.

In that effort of blood vessels dilating to warm things back up, it causes inflammation and triggers pain receptors which sends signals through the Trigeminal Nerve to the brain. The Trigeminal Nerve is in charge of the sensations we feel in the face and when doing motions like biting and chewing. The Trigeminal Nerve has branches that go to many parts of the face. Since it is a multipurpose (or multi-use) nerve, the brain mistakenly registers the pain as coming from the forehead instead of the roof of your mouth. Hence, your reaction to experiencing brain freeze which could be grabbing your forehead and wincing in pain.

How to I avoid brain freeze?

Take your time when eating cold things. In case you do get that brain freeze sensation, quick relief would be to warm the roof of your mouth with your tongue. I'm craving ice cream. So I'll leave you with some in progress photos of the painting!

Michelle Hunter
Contemporary Artist
Tel: (646) 504-5034

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