New research has shown that holding the hand of a loved one can make your brainwaves sync together – and ease pain.
A study from the University of Colorado at Boulder, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, monitored the brainwaves of 22 heterosexual couples aged between 23-33, while they subjected the woman to some mild pain.
Each couple had been together for at least one year.
They found that when couples were together, their brain waves synced slightly.
But when they touched while the woman was in pain they synced more – and the touching reduced the pain.
"Interpersonal touch may blur the borders between self and other," the paper notes.
Lead author Pavel Goldstein said:
We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions.
This paper illustrates the power and importance of human touch.