According to researchers from the University of Luxembourg, people can feel less pain when they hear a neutral sound. It has long been known that a person's pain in one part of the body can be decreased when pain is inflicted to another part of the body. This physiological reaction works to block pain in one part of the body and deal with a potentially more harmful pain in another part of the body.
This "pain inhibits pain" reaction was used on subjects in a study to see if pain could be dealt with mind-over-matter. 32 subjects were tested in a study that was published in the online journal PLOS One. The researchers of the study administered painful electric pulses to the feet of the subjects. After the pain of the electrical pulses was measured in each of the subjects the researchers then asked the subjects to place their hands in a bucket of ice water. While the subject's hands were in the bucket of ice water the researchers played a telephone ringtone in the headphones that each subject was wearing. This procedure was repeated several times to each subject.
The researchers then altered the procedure by administering the painful electrical pulse without having the subjects hands placed in ice water afterwards. However, the telephone ringtone continued to play after the electrical pulse was administered. The results showed that even though a second pain (subject's hand in ice water) was not administered, the pain felt by the electrical stimulation was reduced simply when the ringtone sounded. According to ScienceDaily, "The brain had been conditioned to the ringtone being a signal to trigger the body's physical pain blocking mechanism". The physical signs of pain were also absent after the conditioning occurred. ...[Continue reading on Earthpsyche]