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Nostalgia Can Reduce Perception of Pain: Study
Nostalgia Can Reduce Perception of Pain: Study

Washington, 28 Mar (ONA) --- The next time you feel pain, you might consider skipping the ibuprofen and reaching instead for an old photo.

Nostalgia; that sentimental feeling of longing for the past, can reduce pain perception, according to new research published in the journal JNeurosci.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Liaoning Normal University asked study participants to rate their level of pain from heat stimulation while looking at pictures that were nostalgic, depicting old cartoons, childhood games or retro candy, compared with more modern pictures. During the tasks, an MRI machine also scanned the 34 participants.

Researchers found that observing pictures that triggered childhood memories was linked to participants reporting weaker feelings of pain.

"By managing their discomfort, rather than eliminating or reducing the (unpleasant) stimuli, people can use nostalgia to reframe their painful experiences," Joe Yazhuo Kong, one of the study authors, said.

"Nostalgia is a predominately positive emotion that people easily perceive in their lives," said Kong, a research group leader at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Lab for Integrative NeuroImaging of Pain. "For instance, people can feel happy and peaceful when browsing their pictures grouped with family or friends."

The researchers involved in the new JNeurosci study also have plans to use different age groups in future research and to look into the impacts of more personal nostalgic cues rather than generic nostalgia ones such as old music and movies, the CNN reported.

--- Ends/Thuraiya/KH