Love Is A Drug — A Pain Reliever

It sure does feel like a drug when you’re madly in love. I just read a description in the novel “The Spirit of the Place: “…that “astonishing feeling when your heart seems made of feathers and diamonds and floats up sparkling in your chest.”

Turns out love acts in your brain like a drug, too — it lights up your reward centers just like cocaine, and dampens pain like a good anesthetic.

A new Stanford study just out in the journal PLOS ONE — weird name but excellent scientific journal — scanned the brains of undergraduates as they experienced the pain of a “thermal stimulator” on the palms of their hands. When a picture of their beloved was flashed before them, it provided not just distraction but actual relief. And the brain pathways resembled those involved in the highs of illicit drugs.
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