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I've known it like forever, I think I was told so since I was a kid. But how true it actually is? I clearly can't see what's the connection between the sound of water and a natural need.

From my own experience I'd say that sometimes it works, some other, e.g. when under a stress, it doesn't.


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Pretty closely related, though not exactly a duplicate: It's true that if you put your hand in water while sleeping/drunk you will piss yourself? –  Benjol Jun 9 '11 at 11:46
Looking around at some parusesis web-sites, it appears that some mild cases can be helped by the sound of running water - the reasons given include ritual/association with urination, relaxation and (most plausibly to me) it masks the sound of one's own urination, making one less shy about what others can perceive. Nothing peer-reviewed though. –  Oddthinking Dec 16 '11 at 15:21
I suspect this literature review would help: anyone got access? –  Oddthinking Dec 16 '11 at 15:21

1 Answer 1

There is a study exactly on this, but unfortunately it has no abstract and the summary I can find gives no clue to its conclusions.

I am making this answer CW so anybody with proper access can retrieve the full text and edit it.


To the Editor: In a recent survey, 50 per cent of infections in an intensive-care unit were found to be due to the urinary-bladder catheter.1 Other disadvantages are discomfort and cosmetic disarray. Certainly, any reasonable alternative is worthy of pursuit. We have studied the clinical implications of the ancient and highly practical observation that running water stimulates urination. The maneuver is a common story to victims of an expanding prostate. Again, the conscientious nurse will try running the tap for a postoperative patient having difficulties getting under way. But her efforts are haphazard and awkward, depending as they do on . . .


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