Feeling uneasy or in pain? Hold your partners hand as a new study suggests that when a partner hold hands of their partner in pain, their brain waves sync and pain subsides.

The study found that the more empathy a comforting partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync. And the more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away.

For the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers recruited a group of  couples, aged between 23 to 32 who had been together for at least one year.

The researchers put them through several two-minute scenarios as electroencephalography (EEG) caps measured their brainwave activity.

The scenarios included sitting together not touching; sitting together holding hands; and sitting in separate rooms. Then they repeated the scenarios as the woman was subjected to mild heat pain on her arm.

Merely being in each other’s presence, with or without touch, was associated with some brain wave synchronicity in the alpha mu band, a wavelength associated with focused attention. If they held hands while she was in pain, the coupling increased the most.

The researchers also found that when she was in pain and he couldn’t touch her, the coupling of their brain waves diminished. It appears that pain totally interrupts this interpersonal synchronization between couples and touch brings it back.

FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT

Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.

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