Ask Dr. Orloff

Do empaths have stronger physical reflexes and a startle response?

Question: Dr. Orloff,

First, I'd just like to thank you. I answered "yes" to all but two of your questions in Emotional Freedom about being an Empath. Now I know. I've read loads of fiction and seen many movies with empath characters, but never made any connection to myself. I had to go to a neurologist about a year ago for an eye problem I was having. When he checked my reflexes, he found them to be overly sensitive. My body automatically over-reacted to his little hammer. My startle reflex is also a bit over the top. I was wondering if other empaths have over active reflexes?
Thanks Again!

Answer: Dear Michele,

Yes, it is a revelation to find out that you are an empath. I'm glad the quiz in the book helped. Yes, I've seen that empaths have very sensitive physical reflexes and a quick startle response. As an empath, I notice this in myself and many of my patients have reported this. On a physical level, empaths are highly sensitive people with a highly sensitive nervous system. That's why it's important to learn how to calm yourself with meditation, exercise, being in nature and quiet contemplation as well as not to over-do social activity. It's vital to learning how to listen to your body and set clear boundaries with people or situations that are draining.
All the best,

« Return to Ask Dr. Orloff


Sign up for Judith’s
free E-newsletters

Empath Support News

Intuition & Emotional Freedom News



Sunday, June 4, 2017 – 5 - 7PM Talk
Tantra, Relationships, Intimacy, and Love: A Dialogue with Judith Orloff MD and Corey Folsom – Los Angeles, CA
Mystic Journey Bookstore
For details call 310.399.7070 or go to

Sunday, July 9, 2017 – 9 & 11 AM Talk / 1:30 PM Workshop
The Power of Intuition and Empathy to Heal – Los Angeles (Orange County Area), CA
Unity of Tustin
For details call (714) 730-3444 or go to

Friday to Sunday, July 28-30, 2017 Weekend Intensive
Igniting the Power of Your Intuition and Empathy - Big Sur, CA
Esalen Institute
To register go to or call 888-837-2536. International toll free line: 1-703-342-0500
This workshop offers credits for LCSWS and MFTs, and Nurses


Full Lecture Schedule »