Lifehack for Those of Us Suffering with Chronic Pain: Touch Each Other

Lifehack for Those of Us Suffering with Chronic Pain: Touch Each Other

Did you know that the annual cost of managing pain across the United States adds up to more than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes? And of course, prescription painkillers, when used over the long-term, can generate their own pain in many ways. 

But new research techniques that monitor the physiological activity of several people simultaneously, not just the individual in pain, are finding a more affordable, sustainable and accessible solution: the human touch. 

In the cornerstone study of this emerging field of research, spectators of a fire-walking ritual were found to have synchronous heartbeats with the actual fire-walkers. Other studies have confirmed this effect in people engaging in activities together like singing, movie-watching, or even gazing at one another. In other words, we have a ln actual physical reaction to someone else when we go through something emotional together. 

Spectators of a fire-walking ritual were found to have synchronous heartbeats with the actual fire-walkers

This physiological coupling is the basis of new research on pain relief from simple human touch. The higher the synchrony between participants under various conditions, the higher the levels of touch-related pain relief. 

Researchers are just scratching the surface of our potential to relieve each other of chronic pain. Follow the work of Cognitive Neuroscientist Dr. Pavel Goldstein to learn more on this topic.

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