Love acts as powerful painkiller

Love acts as powerful painkiller

The study by researchers at the Stanford University found that passions triggered by the early flushes of a relationship block physical pain in a similar way to painkillers and drugs.

“When people are in this passionate, all-consuming phase of love, there are significant alterations in their mood that are impacting their experience of pain,” said study author Dr Sean Mackey, head of the Division of Pain Management at Stanford University Medical Centre in California.

“We’re beginning to tease apart some of these reward systems in the brain and how they influence pain. These are very deep, old systems in our brain that involve dopamine — a primary neurotransmitter that influences mood, reward and motivation,” Dr Mackey was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

For their study, the scientists recruited 15 male and female university students who were in the passionate early stages of a love affair. They were shown photos of their partners while a computer-controlled heat probe placed in the palms of their hands delivered mild doses of pain.

It was found that feelings of love, triggered by seeing a photo of one’s beloved, acted as a powerful pain killer.