Why is the presence of a loved one reduces physical pain

The presence of a loved one not only gives a lot of pleasant sensations, but also brings direct health benefits. About it scientists say.

Some earlier studies have shown that touching a beloved person to make his partner more resistant to painful stimuli. This is because, synchronized brain waves, and stimuli seem less painful.

Почему присутствие рядом любимого человека уменьшает физическую боль

But according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of health Sciences, medical Informatics and technology in Hall, Austria, and University of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the same effect and brings the mere presence of the beloved, even if it is just in the same room with you. “To expand our knowledge about the role of individual differences in social pain modulation, we examined the role of dispositional empathy, which refers to the stable tendency to understand the thoughts and feelings of others, to perceive and to separate them” – explain the authors of the experiment.

For the study were recruited 48 heterosexual couples in which the average age of the partners was 25 years. The partners had been together an average of 3.22 years.

To assess the degree of sympathy of each partner, the researchers asked them to fill in the questionnaire. Then checked how each of the people responded to pain in two different experimental conditions: when I was single and when he was near his partner.

In the second scenario, the partner, although present in the room remained completely passive, without touching or talking to your loved ones. To measure the pain sensitivity in each case, the researchers used a special tool known as algometry pressure.

The team found that both men and women were more resilient to pain when they were in the presence of his partner. In addition, the higher was the level of empathy a person has, the greater tolerance for pain showed his partner.

“Repeatedly demonstrated that talk and touch reduces pain, but our study shows that even the passive presence of the beloved is able to reduce it, and that empathy can contain affective disorder during the pain,” says study author Professor Stephen Dusek.

However, the authors recognize that it has limitations. For example, they assume that the participants of the experiment in the presence of the partner might feel less pain because he was just distracting them from painful feelings. “We cannot exclude the possibility that the reduction of pain in some extent was caused by the distraction and not the actual support,” admits Stephen Dusek.

And yet the team came to the conclusion that the results indicate a significant impact of an affair on pain sensitivity: “Despite the limitations, the study provided evidence that the presence of a romantic partner significantly reduces acute pain even without his or her feedback, and that in the presence of empathy partner this effect is magnified”.