Love hurts, at least according to many a romantic songwriter, but it may also help ease pain, US scientists suggest.Brain scans suggest many of the areas normally involved in pain response are also activated by amorous thoughts.
Stanford University researchers gave 15 students mild doses of pain, while checking if they were distracted by gazing at photos of their beloved.
The study focused on people early in a romance, journal PLoS One reported, so the "drug of love" may wear off.
The scientists who carried out the experiment used "functional magnetic resonance imaging" (fMRI) to measure activity in real-time in different parts of the brain.
It has been known for some time that strong feelings of love are linked to intense activity in several different brain regions.These include areas linked to the brain chemical dopamine, which produces the brain's feel-good state following certain stimulants - from eating sweets to taking cocaine.
"Light up" The Stanford University researchers had noticed that when we feel pain, some of the same areas "light up" on the scans - and wondered whether one might affect the other.
They recruited a dozen students who were all in the first nine months of a relationship, defined as "the first phase of intense love".
Each was asked to bring in a picture of the object of their affection and photos of what they deemed an equally attractive acquaintance.
While their brains were scanned, they were shown these pictures, while a computer controlled heat pad placed in the palm of their hand was set up to cause them mild pain.They found that viewing the picture of their beloved reduced perceptions of pain much more than looking at the image of the acquaintance.
Dr Jarred Younger, one of the researchers involved, said that the "love-induced analgesia" appeared to involve more primitive functions of the brain, working in a similar way to opioid painkillers.
"One of the key sites is the nucleus accumbens, a key reward addiction centre for opioids, cocaine and other drugs of abuse.
"The region tells the brain that you really need to keep doing this."
Professor Paul Gilbert, a neuropsychologist from the University of Derby, said that the relationship between emotional states and the perception of pain was clear.
He said: "One example is a footballer who has suffered quite a painful injury, but who is able to continue playing because of his emotionally charged state."
He added that while the effect noticed by the Stanford researchers might only be short-lived in the early stages of a love affair, it may well be replaced by something similar later in a relationship, with a sense of comfort and wellbeing generating the release of endorphins.
"It's important to recognise that people who feel alone and depressed may have very low pain thresholds, whereas the reverse can be true for people who feel secure and cared for.
"This may well be an issue for the health service, as patients are sometimes rushed through the system, and perhaps there isn't this focus on caring that might have existed once."
The rescue operation of 33 ordinary men whose extraordinary survival story had riveted the world.
Trapped beneath the Chilean earth, the operation unfolded before a hopeful, transfixed eyes, ears and hearts.
The men who survived 69 days trapped underground after the mine collapse were making history as they - and their private lives - tumbled out into the light.
For the many of them, their love life unfold for all the world to see.
For them, some of them, the temporarily forgotten and lost love must be search and found. Their feelings of loving the loved ones is the painkiller that healed their separation time.
The hurt feelings being trapped in the mine were healed by the new-found lost love feelings.
*For 31-year old cameraman Florencio Avalos who was chosen to be the first miner to be rescued, he stepped out of the rescue capsule, hugged by his wife and tearful children as celebrations began.
*The intense feeling of love, auto mechanic, 34-year old Victor Zamora has, for his dear wife, has led him to send up poems to his heavily pregnant Mrs.
*Some of the miners who were rescued from the depths of the San José de Copiapó mine said they plan on making some changes to their lives.
With overwhelmed gratitude, the father of three sons, 30-year old Osman Araya vowed never to leave his family again.
He will fight to the end to be with them.
*Youngest miner 19-year old Jimmy Sanchez, 34-year old Claudio Yanez and 44-year old Claudio Acuna, all propose to their girls realising moments with them need to be cherished too.
Life is very unpredictable and death is inevitable.
They have cheated death once.
Is there the second time?
*After years spent mostly away labouring underground, a new feeling of appreciating his wife was expressed by the oldest miner, 63-year old Mario Gomez.
There's more love found while underground.
He surprised his wife with a promised proper Church wedding to his wife Lilianett Ramirez in his heartfelt correspondence, the first letter he had ever written - not even before they were married - to her after 30-years of marriage, with four daughters and seven grandchildren.
His love letter obviously will work as the couple are to marry November 7, his 64th birthday.
*Father of three, 44-year old Esteban Rojas, proposed a white gown church wedding to Jessica Yanez, which she had always wanted - "Once and for all" in a message to the woman he married in a civil ceremony 25 years ago.
A Greek mining company has invited to all those rescued and their spouses, an all-expenses-paid trip to Greek's islands.
There are other invitation too, to visit Germany, France and Spain.
*The miner with the biggest heart - to share his love with - is 50-year old Yonni Barrios.
His rescue was among the most anticipated when his secret love affair surfaced.
He had asked both women in his life to welcome him, but his wife of 28-years declined the invitation.
For the miners, freedom means a whole new very public life.
Open for the world to see as the world welcome them.
*54-year old shift foreman Luis Urzua was the last miner hoisted to freedom.
He is credited with helping the men survive by enforcing tight rations of their limited food, lights and other supplies.
"I congratulate you because you did your duty, leaving last like a ship's captain," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said to him.
He is the man who held the group together when they were feared lost during the first 17 days, before help could arrive.
"We have done what the entire world was waiting for," he said immediately after his rescue.
"We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing."
Urzua made the 2,041-foot ascent in Phoenix, the rescue capsule, and emerged from a manhole-sized opening in the ground to a joyous celebration. The whole world celebrate with them too.
Mr President asked him to hug his family.
The family led a joyous crowd in singing the national anthem.
*We have read The Miner's Diary From China.
Now, the world is waiting for their diary to be read too.
48-year old electrician Victor Segova has kept a diary of life below. He was tasked with writing up a diary of the miners' 10-week ordeal.
He had asked those above to send down more pencils and paper. The father of five had penned their story of survival - Which some already think will make for the perfect movie.
The life risking job they performed, all for the love of their family.