In pain? Crossing your arms could help

May 20, 2011 2:00:34 PM PDT
Crossing your arms apparently confuses the brain and helps reduce the intensity of pain.

Scientists say, in everyday life, most people use their left hand to touch things on the left side and the right hand for everything on the right. They say this means the brain areas that hold the map of the right body and the map of the right external space are usually activated together, leading to very effective pain processing.

But when you cross your arms these maps are not activated together anymore leading to less effective processing.

The result: Stimuli such as pain can be perceived as weaker.

Scientists reporting in the journal Pain hope this discovery leads to better pain treatments.

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