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The Triumph of Form Over Content When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

You Are Here: Home -> Glossary -> Blushing


The will to power leads us into stranger and stranger territory. All of us have suffered acute embarrassment and felt that familiar hot flush running up our necks onto our faces. Blushing is never fun, but people who suffer from erythrophobia (spontaneous facial blushing) and/or hyperhidrosis (facial sweating) must endure constant embarrassment. In a surgical procedure called Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathicotomy (ETS), the surgeon enters the body through the arm pits and snips those nerve endings in the neck that cause blushing and sweating.

However, enterprising cosmetic surgeons have expanded this procedure to elites who simply want more control over their bodily functions. It appeals particularly to television newscasters and financiers, who don't want to show any signs of weakness in their work. Dr. Anthony Mitra of the exclusive Highgate Private Hospital, a clinic in London that performs the surgery cosmetically, explains: "If you're negotiating a deal or a contract and you blush, then you give your position away. When you're in business, the only emotions you want to convey are the ones you're in charge of." As such, our ongoing struggle with the vagaries of our own bodies has taken a new turn, resisting not only the effects of aging but our own physiological responses.

Dr. Mitra describes business in The City as "brisk."

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