February is the month for chocolate hearts, red roses and romantic meals for two. But did you know that being in love may actually make physical pain more tolerable? According to some scientists, being in love can be as good a pain killer as medication!
So if your back is playing up this Valentine’s Day, a romantic date with your beloved could be the trick to pain relief!
The idea that falling in love can help with physical pain stems from the belief that pain control and intense emotional feelings are centred on similar areas of the brain.
To support this theory, a study was recently carried out on American students (all of whom claimed to be in love). The students were asked to look at photographs of their lovers while being subjected to mildly painful shocks to their hands while undergoing brain scans. They were also asked to perform distraction tests, which are known to reduce pain.
Focusing on their loved ones proved equally effective at minimising pain as the well known distraction techniques. The areas of the brain stimulated by intense feelings of love seem to be the same areas that medications target to reduce pain.*
According to our Stoke on Trent chiropractor, the recent findings closely link to certain existing pain management techniques. Being in love produces feelings of intense happiness and sometimes even euphoria. On the other end of the scale, depressive or negative feelings are widely linked with physical ailments. The feeling of being in love is a highly positive emotion – and positive emotions have long been thought to have analgesic effects. The intense feelings of love that a mother experiences straight after giving birth reduces the physical pain of delivering a baby. A child with a grazed knee often seems to get better straight after a loving cuddle from a parent. This study may be simply putting science to what the majority of us have always been aware of.
So if you haven’t got plans for Valentine’s Day, make some! Cook a romantic dinner, send a dozen red roses to your loved one or arrange a fun date night. You never know, those wonderful feelings of love and romance may just take your mind off your back pain.
* Findings published in the online journal PlosOne
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From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
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