Mon, May 23, 2011
Lifestyle > Health

Crossing arms can reduce pain

2011-05-23 06:43:12 GMT2011-05-23 14:43:12(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A new study suggests that crossing your arms could reduce the intensity of pain, according to media reports.

The study was conducted by researchers from University College London (UCL), who reported their finding in the journel Pain.

They said that crossing the arms could confuse the brain and conflicting information between the brain's two maps - one for the person's body and the other for external space - leading to a lower sensation of pain.

Alaser was used to generate a four millisecond pin prick onthe hands of eight volunteers, who experienced this twice with their arms at their sides and arms crossed.

Then the participants were asked to rate the intensity of pain in two situations and an EEG (electroencephalography) was used to measure their electrical brain responses.

The results showed that both the perception of pain and EEG activity was reduced when the arms were crossed.

"Perhaps when we get hurt, we should not only 'rub it better' but also cross our arms," said Giandomenico Iannetti of UCL's department of physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience.



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