The other day I came across a Facebook video of commercials from when I was a kid.
I don’t want to admit to how much time I spent watching it – or how much time I spent on YouTube afterward, hunting for more. But I will admit this…
I completely forgot all about my arthritis pain for however long that was. And it turns out that wasn’t just a random coincidence.
New research has uncovered a powerful new painkiller. And it’s precisely what I experienced as I disappeared down that rabbit hole of old commercials.
And that’s nostalgia, of course.
So crack open a photo album… break out the old home movies… or maybe just visit YouTube to share in this unique, newly identified way to get real pain relief.
Try a shot of nostalgia to ease the aches
Now I’ve got to warn you. This study sounded a little more like a torture experiment than scientific research to me at first.
No one was truly hurt, mind you. But it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk either. The study volunteers had a pain-inducing heat generator placed just above their wrists.
Then as they looked at some images and videos, the researchers slowly dialed up the pain levels to see what would happen.
Volunteers who were shown scenes of modern life could barely take the heat. They reported high levels of pain and called it quits early. And frankly, I don’t blame them.
Others looked at nostalgic images such as cartoons from the old days or pics of games and candies from bygone eras. And those folks barely even noticed the pain.
Scans revealed TRUE pain relief
But let’s face it, how people “feel” can be a little hit or miss when you try to measure it scientifically. After all, it varies wildly from person to person and moment to moment.
What makes this research TRULY unique is that the volunteers were all given brain scans during the study. That way, researchers could watch for changes.
And those scans revealed that there was nothing hit-or-miss about this relief.
The folks who looked at the nostalgic images had LOWER activity levels in the regions of the brain associated with pain. In other words, the volunteers weren’t just merely being distracted. Instead, that shot of nostalgia literally eased the pain.
Of course, it won’t CURE my arthritis or any other chronic pain condition. But it could be a pleasant way to get some quick relief.
In some cases, it may be just enough to get you over the hump of a painful flare-up.
Plus, the team behind the study believes it’ll be especially effective against common temporary forms of pain like headaches, sore muscles, and the usual stuff that might otherwise send you looking for the Advil bottle.
Now you can reach for your photo album instead.
But nostalgia isn’t the only surprising, drug-free way to relieve pain. Last year I shared an odd “light trick” that’s been shown to be remarkably effective at easing aches. If you missed that report, you can catch up here.
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