May 17, 2012
Love is Drug
Men and women across the globe spend their lives searching for love in hopes of companionship, excitement, family, happily-ever-after, sex, security and even status. But now science suggests that love also has the power to ease physical aches and pains. A study has found that being in love activates the reward centres of the brain — the same regions impacted by painkiller drugs.
The research out of Stanford University tested pain levels of men and women by applying heat to the palm of their hands. Looking at photos of their lovers significantly reduced their experience of pain and MRI scans connected this love-induced analgesia to activity in the area of the brain associated with addiction to painkillers, cocaine and other drugs.
“This tells us that you don’t have to just rely on drugs for pain relief,” explains researcher, Dr. Arthur Aron. “People are feeling intense rewards without the side effects of drugs.”
And though big pharma isn’t about to roll over in favour of love-therapy anytime soon, these findings offer support and encouragement to all the hopeless romantics out there. Not only does it relieve pain, but love of all sorts (not just the mushy romantic kind) has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, strengthened immune system and a longer life. And when you experience love, you definitely want to live longer because time just seems to fly by!
So go ahead and indulge: look for love, fall in love and heed Ke$ha’s advice and make love your drug.