From MSNBC, an article by health editor Linda Dahlstrom
Never to part: Devoted couples share life, death
"Research shows that in some cases, one person’s heartbeat can affect, even regulate, another’s, possibly acting as a type of life support.
In one such study, Rollin McCraty, research director at the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, Calif., looked at what happened to six longtime couples' hearts while they slept. Heart-rate monitors revealed that during the night, as the couple slept beside each other, their heart rhythms fell into sync, rising and falling at the same time. When the printouts of their EKGs were placed on top of each other, they looked virtually the same.
“When people are in a relationship for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, they create sort of a co-energetic resonance with each other,” says Lipsenthal, who is the past director of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Preventative Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif. “A simple analogy is two tuning forks, put next to each other. They create a co-resonant pitch. What happens when two people sleep together for 50 years? What happens when one goes away?”-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I remember one week, early on, when I was at the height of my pain condition, Richard, my sweetie, developed a raging cold. I was feeling so fragile that the thought of contracting his cold on top of bearing my rampant pain was intolerable. We decided to keep at least 10 feet and preferably a closed door between us.
Prior to this moment, his touch was my anchor. When he put his cool hand on my forehead, the swirling pain and fear quieted. When I leaned up against him, I felt as if the universe were, maybe, on my side, at least for a moment.
We stayed apart for a day and a half. During that time, my pain spiraled out of control. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't even eat the soft pears and oatmeal that had become my entire diet. I wanted his comfort, but dreaded the contagion.
As I lay weeping in the living room, Richard phoned his brother for support. Ten minutes later, Richard burst into the room and wrapped his arms around me. As he held me and stroked my hair, I felt the pain recede. I asked him what his brother said. He answered, " F--- the f---ing cold. Get in there and hug her."Now, that better times are more normal, this has remained one of our mantras.