Holding hands relieves couples' pain, new study suggests

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

A new survey in the U.S. revealed that couples can decrease each other's pain by holding hands.

The act of holding someone's hand is so effective that it can overcome the pain of hot burning metal according to the survey.

According to the article published on BBC, scientists who think this situation is based on empathy say that couples can transfer this empathy to each other by touching, which triggers their brain waves to synchronize.

It is estimated that empathy transferred by touch calms stress and relieves pain by enabling the brain to secrete chemicals for pain relief.

A total of 22 heterosexual couples between the ages of 23 and 32 participated in the survey conducted by a team under the supervision of neurologist Dr. Pavel Goldstein from the University of Colorado (Boulder) in the U.S. A hot iron was pressed on the arms of women while their partners either held their hands or just sat nearby.

Women who held the hands of their partners sensed 34 percent less pain. The survey team believes that the reduction in pain is largely related to emotional closeness.

Dr. Goldstein said, "The more empathy the partner has, the more of a soothing effect occurs when the couples hold hands."

It is also indicated that the heartbeats and breathing of the couples holding hands synchronized after prolonged contact.

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