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Israeli scientists: the touch of a loved one eases the pain

Dr. Paul Goldstein and his colleagues from the University of Haifa conducted a study which showed that if a couple is in a romantic relationship, the touch of partners leads to a synchronization of heartbeat and respiration.

Paul Goldstein told the editorial that we are talking about the second study in this series. The first study, the results of which were published a year ago showed that the touch of a male partner to hand-women eases the pain experienced by the latter.

The purpose of the second study was the understanding of the physiological causes of this process.

In a study recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, was attended by 22 heterosexual couples.

The scientists measured the heartbeat and respiration, and confirmed his hypothesis that touching increases the synchronization of these rhythms between partners. However, according to Goldstein, he and his colleagues got an unexpected result – it turned out that when one partner experienced the pain and the partners didn’t touch each other, synchronization of breathing and heartbeat was gone.

Scientists have put forward a hypothesis not yet proven that, not feeling the touch of the partner, the woman applies other techniques of pain management, preventing synchronization.

The more you touch a close person eases the pain of a partner, the stronger the synchronization between heartbeat and breathing partners, the researchers note. But Goldstein stressed that scientists have not yet found a causal relationship between these two phenomena.

According to Paul, this is the first study that examines the process pain as a social situation of communication between people.

The idea is to explore the relationship between physical touch and pain level of the partners came to Dr. Goldstein four years ago during childbirth of his wife.

«I was sitting with my wife in the delivery room, she was in labor, she was very hurt and tormented me, that I don’t know how to help her. And the wife asked me to hold her hand, explaining that this reduces the level of stress and pain. For me this was a very emotional situation, and when our daughter was born, I decided to study this process scientifically,» says Goldstein.

Scientists still don’t know what happens in the reverse situation – when the pain a man feels and that this will focus a new study by the group of Goldstein. Scientists also don’t know what’s going on in terms of interaction for the settlement of pain in same-sex couples.

In addition, Dr. Goldstein told our editorial Board that soon will be published the results of another study related to the synchronization of brain waves.

Dr. Paul Goldstein ‘ 34. With him on the research he worked as a Professor at Haifa University Simon Shammai-tsuri and assistant Professor Irit Wassermann-Vogel. Today, Goldstein does post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado (USA).

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Israeli scientists: the touch of a loved one eases the pain 28.06.2017

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