Slam Your Thumb? Cross Your Arms to Ease the Pain

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Hey, I'm Dr. Oz. Next time you pricked your finger with a needle or hit your thumb with a hammer, try this little trick to help dull the pain. You cross your arms. When you experience something painful, an electrical impulse travels from the affected area of the body to your spinal cord, and then it goes up to your brain.

That translates electrical impulse into pain. But research suggests that you can confuse your brain and dull the pain if you simply cross your arms. Scientists put this one to the test by subjecting volunteers hands to stimuli that range from mildly uncomfortable to slightly painful. Volunteers experienced this sensation either with their hands at their sides or their arms crossed.

The intensity of the sensation were significantly reduced when people's arms were crossed. Now, scientists think that arm crossing somehow muddles the way the brain perceives pain. We're not suggesting that you hurt yourself in order to try this one at home, but the next time you slam your fingers in a drawer, cross your arms.

For more strategies to live better and pain free, watch all of our smart tips, right here.