We know that holding hands can be comforting, but now we’re learning it could help ease pain, too. New research suggests that physical touch, like holding hands, could help reduce pain, especially when it’s people in a relationship doing the touching.
Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel have been studying the subject for years and just presented their findings last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago. A study they did in 2016 found that when loved ones held hands, it lowered pain levels, but the effect wasn’t the same when it came from a stranger. Then in 2018, their continued research found that couple’s brain waves synced up when one partner was in pain.
“We all know that hand-holding is important for social support, but here we show the brain mechanism for this effect,” explains study author Simone Shamay-Tsoory. “We show for the first time that brain waves are synchronized during hand-holding, and this support is effective at pain reduction.”
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Source:New York Post