Feeling All the Feels-Living with Mirror-Touch Synesthesia

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For Carolyn Hart, empathy is more than a feeling—it’s physical. The professional masseuse has a rare neurological condition called mirror-touch synesthesia.

When Hart sees another person in pain, she physically feels that pain too. Even when she sees objects that could hurt someone, such as toothpicks or broken glass, her skin pricks with potential pain.

But the condition has an upside too; while on the job, Hart also feels that she is receiving a massage, and her body lifts with the joyous lilt of ballet while watching a performance.

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It’s a different way of feeling it all—and difference is what makes life all the more beautiful.

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