Thursday, September 15, 2011

Send in the clowns

We all know that laughing makes us feel good.

A study released yesterday takes this one step further by showing that laughter actually helps increase tolerance to pain. Published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences in Oxford, the study found that the muscular exertion in laughing triggers increased production of endorphins, the brain chemicals that make people feel good.

It tested resistance to pain before and after bouts of laughter, showing volunteers videos and comedy performances while inflicting pain with a freezing wine sleeve over the forearm, a tightening blood pressure cuff or a difficult ski exercise.

(Wondering what kind of people volunteer for this kind of exercise. I've had enough pain, thank you.)

You know instinctively that laughter makes you feel better (I went to the hospital with a collection of "Seinfeld" DVDs), but the study adds a little something more.

Maybe hospitals should send in comedians or at the very least comedy videos along with prescriptions of percoset and oxycodone.

1 comment:

PJ said...

That old cliche is so true. Humor is the best medicine.