“New research shows that holding your loved one’s hand when they’re in pain will comfort them and cause your brain waves to synchronise.” And whats more, if the loved one is someone you are romantically attached with, it is even possible for the heart rate to synchronise too.
The study was undertaken by a group of researchers from the University of Colorado, and they found that holding a loved one’s hand can ease pain, raise empathy levels and ‘interpersonal synchronisation’ into order to try and alleviate each others pain.
The researchers doing the study investigated on 22 heterosexual couples – all the couples had been together for at least a year and were aged between 23 and 32. Some couples were asked to sit in the same room without touching, some were asked to sit together and hold hands, and others were asked to sit in different rooms while their brain activity was monitored. Then, the women was subjected to a mild heat-inducing pain on their arm in order to see if ‘brain-coupling’ (the synchronisation of brainwaves) occurs.
“Brain coupling increased even more if the partner held the woman’s hand while she was in pain. Conversely, if the partners didn’t hold hands while the woman was in pain, their brain waves stopped coupling.” This very clearly illustrated the power and importance of human touch.
The researchers next hope to work towards discovering the exact mechanism of how hand holding kills pain in the brain.
Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you enjoyed the read feel free to comment any opinions or new blog suggestions down below!