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Rubbing your hand really does reduce the pain
About the author: 

It's something that most of us do instinctively when we get a sudden jabbing pain - we rub it with our hand

It's something that most of us do instinctively when we get a sudden jabbing pain - we rub it with our hand. And scientists have this week discovered that it really does help.
Self-massage is a very effective way of reducing pain levels, especially after an injury. Researchers from University College London have discovered that touching the area in pain seems to help the brain form a representation of the body. This, in turn, lets the brain integrate the signals, and this means you feel less pain.
Something similar is going on when people still feel pain in a phantom limb that has been amputated. Only when the brain 'gets' that the limb is no longer there does the pain finally stop.
Any therapy that allows the brain to form a better representation of the body could be a useful method for pain reduction, the researchers say.
(Source: Current Biology, 2010; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.038).


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