Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laughter Kills Pain

It's No Joke: Why Laughter Kills Pain

"What do joke-lovers and junkies have in common? According to new research, they're both responding to the same kind of "high." The study suggests that genuine laughter releases endorphins in the brain, chemicals that activate the same receptors as drugs like heroin, to pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects.

Researchers led by Oxford University's Robin Dunbar conducted a series of experiments — both in the lab and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival — to tease out the effect of laughter on people's ability to withstand pain.

Previous research has linked hearty ha ha's with pain relief. Watching comedy videos, for example, has been shown to decrease hospital patients' need for opioid painkillers. But it wasn't clear whether it was laughter itself or general positive emotions that were responsible for relieving pain.

In the new study, scientists tested dozens of participants' tolerance to pain through various methods: a tightening blood pressure cuff, a frozen wine-chilling sleeve placed around the arm, or a strenuous exercise in which participants had to hold themselves against a wall with their legs bent at a 90-degree angle, as if sitting on a chair. (Trust me, it hurts).

In several lab experiments, the researchers subjected people to the painful stimuli both before and after exposing them to episodes of comedy, including video clips of shows like South ParkThe Simpsons and Friends or clips of stand-up by performers like Eddie Izzard. The lone field experiment at the comedy festival involved people who had either watched or acted in comic performances. (...)"

in Time


T Papar said...

i m glad science approves of laughing :P

September 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM
Anonymous said...

It's so true. Laughing is an amazing cure all!

September 15, 2011 at 10:40 PM
George Anderson said...

Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Great post + Followed!

September 16, 2011 at 2:07 AM
Tom said...

Interesting post! Good thing I laugh a lot!

September 16, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Talerfuchs said...

Laughter sets chemicals in the brain free that react with our brain center for phyiscal or mental pain.

September 16, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Bruno said...

I laugh a lot! ill keep following your blog

September 17, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Thought Comics said...

Very interesting... though not surprising.

September 17, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Cid said...

as Thought Comics said, not surprising. Interesting although, scientists approving laughter, now that's gangsta!

September 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

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