Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
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Striking blood

Just leave the wound alone
and rinse it with water
when you can

Grooming is external medicine.
Grooming concerns only the outside of you.
Your skin is the frontier between what is in and what is out of you.
You only groom the outmost layers of your epidermis.

Grooming and blood

Hitting blood is a sure sign that you have transgressed this boundary.
As soon as you strike blood, stop grooming that place until it heals.

Ungroomed skin

Ungroomed skin is very brittle and hardened.
It has lost its elasticity, so it resists the moves of your nails.
It rips if you put too much pressure on it.
Things only get worse as it ages.

Bleeding by your own fault

Most bleeding occurrences while grooming are caused by human error.
Incompetence, hurriedness, exuberance, impatience, ..., can explain most of them.
A big part of these traumatisms may be totally unnecessary.
Of course, grooming your skin without looking is quite a challenge and a few misses here and there are quite normal.
Yet, when the same place bleeds often, take the time to inspect it visually.
Try to determine why the wound is reoccurring.
Often, your lack of sight makes you groom at the wrong place.

The more folded your skin is,
the more it will bleed

Your skin is not folded equally everywhere on your body.
Your head is about six times more folded than the rest, so it has six times more chances to bleed than elsewhere.
You will notice that you can put a good deal of force on your skin where it is supple and lose, while areas where it is tight and hard will bleed much sooner.

Skin resurrection

The parcels of skin entrapped inside fold crossings are so crumpled and choked that their vital functions are halted.
By reducing the tension on them, grooming slowly brings them back to life.
In this process, blood flow will be reinstated inside the captured cells.
This is healthy and natural, but it takes time.
It is only normal to expect that damage will occur when you groom those crossings, but working on them is the only way they will heal in the long run.

What has happened to me

When I started grooming, my skin was in such bad condition it would bleed very easily.
My technique was awful and I would hurt myself daily.
Some places on my face would bleed after only a few grooming strokes every time I worked there.
One spot in particular, in the moustache area, was so folded that it bled, anytime I groomed it, for over three years.
But gradually, the bleeding reduced, then stopped.
My skin became more and more flexible and it could take more and more pressure from my nails.
Now, I hardly bleed anymore.
I can put all the strength I want and groom for long periods at the same place, but my skin just seems to appreciate.

Obligate bleeding

As you see, it may be impossible to cure your skin without having it bleed slightly and periodically.
Each time it bleeds, you should stop grooming immediately in the close vicinity and let it heal for the night.
But, it will probably bleed again the next time you groom it and do so for months sometimes years.
There is no way out.
Gradually though, it will resist longer and lose less blood.
Then, it won't bleed anymore and the flesh will be all flexible, healthy and soft again.

Where to groom
deeply or superficially

You don’t want to groom the whole surface of your skin in the same manner.
The only regions you can apply real pressure to are the folds and their crossings.
The remaining areas should only be groomed superficially.

Groom deeply on the grid

Only apply great pressure
on the folds and their crossings

The skin in the folds and their crossings has become solid, so you must put lots of force on it to crush them.
Applying such pressure elsewhere would harm the skin and cause blood to flow.

Watching for blood

Since grooming is done blind, you may not notice that your nails have slashed the flesh.
Blood is warmer than the skin and feels wet.
It gives your grooming moves a slide.
Still, it is so bad to groom in an open wound that you have to be extra careful to react as soon as bleeding occurs.
The only way to be sure is to look at your nails.
I look at mine anytime I'm in doubt.


At first I would clean every wound with alcohol.
I stopped doing so after a few months.
The areas were too large and numerous.
Disinfecting them was painful.
I have not experienced any problem with simply letting the blood dry and be washed away at bath or shower.
Of course I keep my nails as clean as possible by washing them tens of times a day, but sometimes, after just a few minutes of grooming, I would not call them clean anymore.
Grooming is a natural behavior.
Other primates in the wild surely strike blood often while they groom.
Use your brain and wisdom.


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