Cuddling can be used as a natural analgesic with no side effects?

Researchers have found a particularly easy and safe way to relieve the pain of babies. A British study reveals that infants react positively to Cuddle, which reduces pain in medical tests. The good news is that this affects also adults.

Cuddling as a natural analgesic

A gentle touching of the baby before medical treatments may reduce the activity in his brain that is associated with painful experiences. 

A new British study shows that a mild touch can make it easier for the baby to be calm before necessary and painful medical procedures.

Cuddling can be used as a natural analgesic with no side effects?

"Parents are already intuitively stroking their babies in a way that we found to be optimal," explains a child health researcher at Oxford University who studied the issue together with colleagues at University in Liverpool. 

"If we can better understand the infrastructure The neurobiology of different touch techniques, like massage, we can guide parents how to relieve the pain in their babies.

The researchers examined the infant's pain responses in medical blood tests and observing their behavior and monitoring their brain activity. 

The team gently stroked the skin of half of the babies with a soft brush just before the blood test. The blood tests stimulated the babies' brains, there was a decrease in brain activity, which is responsible for the areas that are sensitive to pain. 

However, despite the light touch, most of the babies still moved restlessly and reflexively during the painful examination.

The researchers assumed that stroking would reduce brain activity associated with pain, to see it in practice, "Our intervention may have created dissonance between limb movement and brain activity."

In order to perform proper stroking, there are rules that must be observed. The optimal speed of effective contact to reduce pain is about 3 inches per second, a speed that triggers a group of nerve cells in the skin, which may reduce pain in adults as well. 

So far, it has not been clear whether the response to these nerves develops over time.

The positive effect on nerve cells in infants may explain further effects of touch-based interventions, such as skin-to-skin treatment, in which newborns and infants are placed on the naked skin of the parent as a way to encourage contact with the baby and possibly reduce pain and anxiety. 

The researchers have announced that they intend to repeat their experiment in preterm infants. 

"The study has shown that increased contact with parents, reduce stress on both parents and infants, and reduce hospital stay time. 
This probably has the potential as an analgesic without the dangers of side effects.