Crossing your arms after burning your hand or suffering an injury could lessen pain, research suggests.
Scientists found that crossing the arms across the body may confuse the brain about where pain is occurring. Researchers think the theory has most impact on pain felt in the hands, and have not yet tested it on other parts of the body.
A team from University College London (UCL) used a laser to generate a four millisecond pin prick of pure pain (without touch) on the hands of eight people. The test was then repeated with the arms crossed. The participants recorded their perception of the intensity of the pain, and their electrical brain responses were also measured using scans.