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Passionate love is a drug, as powerful as any painkiller

Health & Lifestyle
Contributed by : Dr. Sejal Shah

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since centuries we have been hearing about the great power of love. Many saint and philosopher had broadly explained about the power of love. A true love has been considered as a great healer since ancient time. That fact has been proven scientifically. In scientific study researchers had found out that love is a drug as powerful as morphine and any painkiller. The passions triggered by the early flushes of a relationship blocks physical pain like painkillers
and drugs.
The study was conducted to ensure that love was not simply working as a distraction, and the early phase of passionate love can block the pain triggers of brain and spinal cord. Scientist in the US tested the theory on 15 male and female university students who were feeling euphoric, energetic, obsessively thinking about their beloved, craving their presence and passionate in 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. At the same time, the students had their brains scanned by a functional magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging machine. During the study they found out that feelings of love, triggered by seeing a photo of one's beloved, acted as a powerful pain killer where as focusing on a photo of an attractive colleague or friend did not have the same effect. The scans revealed that the effects of love could be compared with those of morphine and cocaine, both of which target the brain's "reward centers".

Researcher's views
Dr Sean Mackey, the study leader and head of the Division of Pain Management at Stanford University Medical Center in California, said: "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. It appears to involve more primitive aspects of the brain, activating deep structures that may block pain at a spinal level - similar to how opioid analgesics( the most effective analgesics by far) work.

Dr Jarred Younger, the co-researcher also from Stanford, said: "Love-induced analgesia is much more associated with the reward centers. The scientists concluded that that both love and distraction combat pain, but they act on very different brain pathways.



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