It’s hot today, though not as hot as yesterday (which was 37 in the shade — that’s 99 for you Fahrenheit folks), and I find myself caught in the grip of laziness. So I’m just going to drink a cold beer, eat a slice of fresh bread (pulled out of the oven right before I bought it), and point you toward this study:
Though the study group is small, the findings are interesting and (I think) worthy of replication in a larger test group. When given pain stimuli, women report less pain if they’re looking at a photo of their lover/partner than they do when looking at photos of a stranger or an object. Self-reporting being a subjective thing, the researchers backed up the women’s reports with hard data from brain scans. It all seems to point in the same direction: that the brain produces feelings of safety and reassurance when viewing loved ones, and those feelings serve to reduce perceived pain.
What I want to know now is, does this only work with lovers/partners, or does it work with any loved one capable of inspiring feelings of safety? Because I have distinct memories of my mom being able to reduce pain merely by kissing the body part in question, and I’ve been able to replicate that magical effect on my stepson. Those kisses work!
And now we have an idea why.
(Regarding yesterday’s post: my ploy was ineffective. I still have “My Sweet Lord” stuck in my head today.)