North Central New Jersey Edition

Holding Hands Reduces Pain

Study on Loved Ones Finds Connection

Holdings hands with a loved one reduces physical pain, report researchers at the University of Colorado and University of Haifa that studied the brainwaves of 22 heterosexual couples between ages 23 and 32. When in each other’s presence, the couples’ brainwaves tended to synchronize, especially in the alpha mu band, a measure of focused attention; holding hands amplified this effect and markedly lowered pain levels. The more empathetic the man was to the woman’s pain, the more their brain activity synced and her pain decreased. Men that were less empathetic did not produce the same effect.


This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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