why do we say bless you after a sneeze

Why do we say "bless you" when someone sneezes? THIS goes back to more superstitious times when a sneeze was believed to separate the soul from the body. To prevent the devil stealing the soul the incantation "bless you" (i. e. God bless you) was uttered to release the soul from Satan's clutches and return it to its rightful owner. IT COMES from the time of the Great Plague. As sneezing was one of the first symptoms, and it was obvious that person would die, "bless you" (or "God bless you") was a suitable thing to say. IT WAS believed that sneezing was the way for the body to rid itself of the devil's evil influences. The act of blessing a person subsequent to a sneeze was meant to act as a safeguard against the devil's evil influences returning. However, if the sneezer should thank the blesser for the blessing it was thought to invite the devil with all his evil influences to re-enter the body.
Does your heart stop when you sneeze?


No, your heart does not stop when you sneeze. A sneeze begins with a tickling sensation in the nerve endings that sends a message to your brain that it needs to rid itself of something irritating the lining of your nose. You first take a deep breath and hold it, which tightens your chest muscles. The pressure of air in your lungs increases, you close your eyes, your tongue presses against the roof of your mouth and suddenly your breath comes out fast through your nose. So where did the myth originate that your heart stops when you sneeze? The changing pressure in your chest due to sneezing also changes your blood flow, which may change the rhythm of your heartbeat.


Dr. Richard Conti, past president of the American College of Cardiology, speculates that the belief that the heart actually comes to a stop during a sneeze could result from the sensation of having the heart skip a beat. When there is a prolonged delay before the heart's next beat, he said, that beat is then more forceful and more noticeable, perhaps as a funny sensation in the throat or upper chest (Ray, 1992). Why do people say, God bless you, after someone sneezes? There are varying accounts as to the origin of this response. One belief is that it originated in Rome when the bubonic plague was raging through Europe. One of the symptoms of the plague was coughing and sneezing, and it is believed that Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) suggested saying God bless you after a person sneezed in hopes that this prayer would protect them from an otherwise certain death.


The expression may have also originated from superstition. Some people believe that the custom of asking for God s blessing began when ancient man thought that the soul was in the form of air and resided in the body s head. A sneeze, therefore, might accidentally expel the spirit from the body unless God blessed you and prevented this from occurring. Some ancient cultures also thought that sneezing forced evil spirits out of the body endangering others because these spirits might now enter their bodies. The blessing was bestowed to protect both the person sneezed and others around him. Sneeze responses from around the world: Interesting facts: Sneezes are an automatic reflex that can t be stopped once sneezing starts.


Sneezes can travel at a speed of 100 miles per hour and the wet spray can radiate five feet. People don t sneeze when they are asleep because the nerves involved in nerve reflex are also resting. Between 18 and 35% of the population sneezes when exposed to sudden bright light. Some people sneeze when plucking their eyebrows because the nerve endings in the face are irritated and then fire an impulse that reaches the nasal nerve. Donna Griffiths from Worcestershire, England sneezed for 978 days, sneezing once every minute at the beginning. This is the longest sneezing episode on record. For more print resources. allergy, human body miscellanea, nose, or sneezing in the.

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