aesth-, esth-, aesthe-, esthe-, aesthesio-, esthesio-, aesthesia-, -esthesia, -aesthetic, -esthetic, -aesthetical, -esthetical, -aesthetically, -esthetically

(Greek: feeling, sensation, perception)

akinaesthesia, akinesthesia (s) (noun); akinaesthesias; akinesthesias (pl)
1. Loss of deep pressure sensibility or of position and joint perception: Despite years of therapy, Joyce continued to experience akinaesthesia and was unable to identify the positions of her limbs.
2. A perceptual lack of awareness of muscular movements or physical positions: Jonathan experienced kinesthesia and was unable to identify any physical motions or the actual positions of his legs.
akinaesthetic, akinesthetic (adjective); more akinaesthetic, most akinaesthetic; more akinesthetic, most akinesthetic
Referring to a person who is affected by the absence or loss of movement: Jeff, the akinaesthetic patient, experienced disorienting situations because he could not experience motions with any part of his body.
alganesthesia (s) (noun), alganesthesias (pl)
1. Lack of the sensibility to pain, even with painful or pernicious stimulations and designating particularly the relief of pain without loss of consciousness: The monitored dose of medication produced a state of alganesthesia allowing Dolly to be conscious without experiencing pain.
2. A neurologic or pharmacologic state in which painful stimuli are so moderated that, though still perceived, they are no longer painful: Dr. Jones, the neurologist, studied the effect of the new medication on the alganesthesia of patients from the combat zone.

Beyond the pleasures and assurances of touch, there is always the looming possibility of pain. As a survival mechanism, pain warns our brains of danger and tells us to act to correct or avoid the cause.

Pain receptors, free nerve endings, are spread over a larger area than any of the other sensory receptors. They completely ignore light contact, and only fire up if the stimuli threaten to damage the tissue.

There are more pain receptors in the skin than other types of skin sensors, but they are not evenly distributed; for example, the neck and eyelids are densely covered, but there are few receptors on the sole of the feet and on the ball of the thumb, which is why the needle prick for a blood sample is often done on the thumb.

—Compiled from information presented in
"The Pain beyond Touch" in The Body Almanac; by Neil McAleer;
Doubleday & Company, Inc.; Garden City, New York; 1985; page59.
algesthesia (s) (noun), algesthesias (pl)
The sensibility to pain or the perception of pain; any painful sensation: When Dr. Smith administered a series of pinpricks, Susan experienced algesthesia which was what the doctor was hoping to see.

The prevalence of pain disorders are twice as high in women as in men; when the peak of onset is in the fourth and fifth decades.

The most common sites of pain are the lower back, the head, the face, and the pelvis. It is estimated that low back pain disables seven million Americans and accounts for more than eight million physician office visits each year.

—Robert J. Campbell, Psychiatric Dictionary
Seventh Edition, Oxford University Press, 1996

Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; a woman accepts it as a natural heritage.

algesthesis (s) (noun), algestheses (pl)
Pain sensation; the ability to perceive pain: After months of therapy, Pasqual was able to experience algesthesis which made him feel as if he were truly on the road to recovery.

When she stubbed her toe on the rock, Katherine exclaimed that she was experiencing severe algesthesis.

Pain exists beyond a simple touch

Pain warns our brains of danger and tells us to act to correct the situation, or to avoid whatever caused the pain.

Is there anyone who does not have vivid memories of burning one's hand on a hot stove and quickly withdrawing it? Pain is a powerful reminder and so we learn to be very careful and to avoid whatever caused it.

Pain does not always warn us of danger. It comes too late for us to avoid a bad sunburn, and a tumor in the brain can grow unnoticed because the tissue within our skulls has no pain receptors.

There are more pain receptors in the skin than other types of skin sensors, but they are not evenly distributed. For example, the neck and eyelids are densely covered, but there are few receptors on the soles of the feet and on the balls of the thumb, which is why a needle prick for a blood sample is often done on one of the thumbs.

—"The Pain Beyond Touch" by Neil McAleer in The body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc.; Garden City; New York, 1985, page 59.
allachesthesia, allachaesthesia (s) (noun); allachesthesias; allachaesthesias (pl)
Perception of tactile, or touch, sensation as being away from the actual point where the stimulus is applied: Suffering from allachaesthesia made Sam at risk of injury because he was unable to accurately recognize where the stimulus or administration of something painful was taking place in his body.
allesthesia (s) (noun), allesthesias (pl)
A condition in which a sensation, such as of pain or even a slight touch, is experienced at a point away from where the stimulus occurs: Allesthesia is the inability to tell which side of the body has been touched, and if one extremity is stimulated the sensation is felt on the opposite side.
allesthetic (adjective), more allesthetic, most allesthetic
A reference to the sensation of a stimulus in one limb which is referred to the contralateral (opposite) limb: Raymond was confused by the allesthetic pain that occurred in his right foot when it was his left shoe that was too tight and pinching his foot.
allesthetics, allaesthetics (s) (noun) (no pl)
Physical conditions whereby there are disorders of sensations in which stimuli are perceived as at points on the body that are in fact completely away from the points being stimulated: Mark decided to specialize in the neuroscience area of allesthetics and hoped to work with victims who were not able to determine where feelings of touches were actually located.
alliesthesia (s) (noun), alliesthesias (pl)
A pain or other sensation which is perceived on a remote place on the same side or the opposite side of the body from where it is stimulated: Dr. Pyott told Jason that he had a case of alliesthesia because he felt the pain on his left leg even though he had fallen and bruised his right leg.
allochesthesia, allochaesthesia (s) (noun); allochesthesias; allochaesthesias (pl)
A perception of a stimulus in the limb opposite to the one being stimulated: Brenda watched as Dr. Jenkins pricked her right foot, and then exclaimed that she felt the allochesthesia in her left foot.
alloesthesia (s) (noun), alloesthesias (pl)
A disorder of the localization of tactile stimuli, in which the patient feels the sensation at a corresponding point on the opposite side of the body to which the stimulus is applied: Dr. Kilfoil confirmed the diagnosis of alloesthesia after observing the response of Nathan as he was jerking his left foot despite the fact Dr. Kilfoil had administered a pin prick on the right foot.
alloesthesic (adjective), more alloesthesic, most alloesthesic
A reference to a disorder of the localization of tactile stimuli: When Dr. Thompson vaccinated Janet, she felt an alloesthesic sensation at the corresponding point on the opposite side of her body from that which the vaccination had been applied!
amyoesthesia (s) (noun), amyoesthesias (pl)
Absence of muscle sensations: Darin's amyoesthesia resulted in his not being able to sense motions, weights, or balances.
amyoesthesis (s) (noun), amyoestheses (pl)
The lack, or loss, of muscular sense or perception: Muriel's amyoesthesis made it impossible for her to be aware of movements or even of different positions.

Arrow pointing to words and info sections The index of anesthesia history, Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Quiz If you would like to take self-scoring quizzes over some of the words in this thematic unit, then click on this Aesthesia, Esthesia Quizzes link, or the button, so you can see how much you know about some of these aesth-, esth- words.

Related-word units meaning feeling: senso-; pass-, pati-; patho-.