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Cost-free, Drug-free Pain Medication

Oct 26, 2011 11:03PM ● Published by Anonymous

We all look to our loved ones for support in tough times, but can they also help relieve physical pain? A study at UCLA suggests that the answer is yes.

Past studies have shown that having loved ones around can make pain more bearable, so researchers decided to see if this concept applied to photos.

Researchers recruited an admittedly small group of 28 women, and performed experiments using a heat-pain test, where heat is applied to a small patch on the arm until it hurts. During each test the women performed five tasks: they held the hand of their partner who was seated behind a curtain; they held the hand of a stranger; they viewed a photo of their partner; they viewed a photo of a stranger; and they viewed a piece of paper with the letter “x” written on it.

The result? The loved ones’ photos had the most effect—viewing a photo had an effect stronger than that of interacting with a partner whose face was not visible. When the women were looking at pictures, and not interacting with their partners, they experienced a reduction in pain.

So the next time you schedule a root canal, keep your iPhone handy and flip through photos of your family to ease the pain.

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