It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


In Pain?? Just Cross your Arms!

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 20 2011 @ 03:28 PM
Crossing your arms across the middle of your body confuses the brain and helps reduce the intensity of pain, according to new research.

Scientists from University College London (UCL) who reported the finding in the journal Pain said they think the reason for the phenomenon is conflicting information between two of the brain's maps - one for the body and one for external space.

"In everyday life you mostly use your left hand to touch things on the left side of the world, and your right hand for the right side of the world," Giandomenico Iannetti of UCL's department of physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience, said in a statement about the research.

He said this means the brain areas that hold the map of the right body and the map of right external space are usually activated together, leading to very effective pain processing.

"When you cross your arms these maps are not activated together anymore," he said, leading to less effective processing meaning that stimuli such as pain can perceived as weaker.

In the study, scientists used a laser to generate a four millisecond pin prick of "pure pain" - in other words pain without touch - on the hands of a group of eight participants. This was then repeated with arms crossed.

Participants rated their perception of the pain intensity, and their electrical brain responses were also measured using electroencephalography (EEG). Results from both participants' reports and the EEG showed that the perception of pain was weaker when the arms were crossed.

"Perhaps when we get hurt, we should not only 'rub it better' but also cross our arms," Iannetti said.

The researchers hope their discovery could lead to the development of new drugs and therapies to reduce pain that exploit the brain's way of mapping the body.
This is amazingly familiar to me, many times when in pain crossing my arms has somehow miraculously helped ease away headaches and aches from old injuries.

Just shows how much we are actually capable of!!
edit on 20-5-2011 by grindhouzer because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 03:36 PM

This is news to me, but I will let my friend who suffers from fibromyalgia know.
Maybe the brain thinks this is 'hug' mode, hence the relieving sensation?


posted on May, 20 2011 @ 03:57 PM
Its also an interesting thing that self-induced pain is not as severe as pain that occurs through uncontrollable situations. For example, self flagellation and wrist slashing. Basically, the impulse of ones own body to inflict pain counteracts the pain response.

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 03:59 PM
I think it also helps the "electromagnetic charge" the body holds and conducts.

GREAT thread

I'll try it in the morning, when I have lower back pain.

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 03:59 PM
Now, if I think of it, when I train at the gym I often cross my arms when I do a break between splits.. maybe there's a connection, who knows. Thanks for sharing!

new topics

top topics

log in