In response to bleeding, the body restricts blood flow by contracting blood vessels. This is opposite to the fight-or-flight response, which increases blood flow so that muscles and organs are well supplied to meet an immediate threat.
Therefore, cutting yourself would be a way to (partially) deactivate the flight or fight response. Even if one did not understand this, a link between relief and cutting might be conditioned. I think my psychiatrist mentioned at one point that often people find cutting themselves calming.
I'm perfectly serious: this is very funny. It's horrible, sure, but it is also funny. Humour is much undervalued as a mode of thought. It is useful for more than mere entertainment. One should always keep in the back of one's mind that what you are doing is most likely ridiculously stupid.
Of course, nowadays we have beta blockers, which are more convenient to use, and involve less stigmata. (hehe, stigmata, get it? Might explain some religious types's tendency to self flagellation. So much for disdaining the flesh and all that :-P)
Clondidine continues to work, no bad effects. Joy :-). Doctor measured my blood pressure today, found it was completely normal, told me to up the dose a little. Why are these drugs not more widely used in psychiatry?