Chronic pain relief after receiving affective touch

Meijer, L. L., Ruis, C., van der Smagt, M. J., & Dijkerman, H. C. (2023). Chronic pain relief after receiving affective touch: A single case report. Journal of Neuropsychology, 00, 1– 6.

Affective touch is gentle slow stroking of the skin, which can reduce experimentally induced pain. Our participant, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and chronic pain, received 1 week of non-affective touch and 1 week of affective touch as part of a larger study. Interestingly, after 2 days of receiving affective touch, the participant started to feel less pain. After 7 days, the burning painful sensations fully disappeared. This suggest that affective touch may reduce chronic pain in clinical populations. (…) This is the first study reporting that AT can not only relieve pain immediately, but that this effect persists after the AT application had stopped.