Being with your loved one helps you tolerate pain

   If there is a lover accompanying you when you are in pain, even if you don’t say a word, you can increase the patient’s tolerance for pain.
   Researchers from the Austrian University of Health Sciences, Medical Information and Technology, and the University of Balearic Islands, Spain, recruited 48 couples, each putting their index fingers into the instrument in a setting where their loved ones were present and tested alone. The device slowly pressurizes the index finger, and the subject stops when the pain is unbearable. When the lover is present, they need to sit one meter away, and the two must not talk or have physical contact, but only communicate through eyes. In addition, the study subject was required to rate the pain when the finger was under 3 kg, with a minimum of 1 point and a maximum of 10 points. The results showed that when the lover was present, the study subject had a stronger tolerance for pain and gave a lower score for pain.
   Researchers asked these couples to fill out questionnaires to assess their ability to empathize, that is, whether they could empathize with others’ thoughts or emotions. The results showed that if the lover had a strong empathy ability, the study subject’s tolerance for pain was also higher.
   Researchers wrote in the latest issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain that previous research has shown that talking and touching can reduce pain, but this study found that even if a lover is only by his side, Speaking without physical contact “also helps to reduce pain, and the ability to love one’s empathy may help alleviate the emotional pain people experience when facing pain.” However, for the reasons that the presence of a lover can help reduce pain, the researchers said that they may not rule out the possibility of distraction and thus reduce pain.