Children and Pain: Why a Good Laugh May Be All It Takes for Relief


When you’re in pain, the last thing you feel like doing is laughing. But, laughter might be just what you need to make that pain go away. Some recent research suggests that laughter is actually a good way to reduce and eliminate pain. It seems incredible, but it’s true. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to test it on yourself. The next time you have to go get a flu shot, blood drawn, or have a painful procedure done – or even the next time you accidentally fall – try laughing. Here’s how.

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Laughter Increases Endorphins

It’s known that exercise increases the body’s threshold for pain through the release of endorphins. These endorphins are natural painkillers that can be more powerful than even morphine. Things like spicy food, excitement, pain, and even love and sexual orgasm all trigger the release of endorphins in the body. Until now, researchers couldn’t prove that laughter did the same thing.

Researchers tested individuals and groups of people because laughter is often a social activity (or, at least, it happens in social settings more than it happens when people are alone). T.V shows like “Mr. Bean” and “Friends” were shown alongside a live comedy show. The lab-based tests included wrapping a participant’s arm in frozen wine-cooling sleeves or a blood-pressure cuff. Subjects were told to keep these devices on (and, in the case of the blood-pressure cuff, the subject was tolerate the increasing pressure) until they could no longer bear it.

Live comedy participants were given instructions to squat against the wall until they collapsed.

In all cases, the participants’ ability to tolerate pain increased substantially after laughing. Participants only needed to watch 15 minutes of comedy for the effect. The hypothesis is that a long series of exhalations that accompany real laughter cause physical exhaustion of the abdominal muscles. This, in turn, causes the endorphin release.

Practice Laughing

How do you practice laughing? Well, first things first. You find something that you find funny – a genre of music, movies, or even T.V. shows. Spend some time each night watching them. The funnier, the better. You’re looking for the best of the best. Don’t waste your time on mediocre comedy. Work yourself into a laughing fit until it “hurts.” You’ll probably notice that your pain threshold is immediately higher than normal. Once you’ve verified this, you can use it for practical purposes. You’ll just need to have something handy to watch.

Get Videos To Make You Laugh

Getting videos onto your mobile device that make you laugh means that you can prepare yoruself for pain anytime. It’s unpleasant to think about, and maybe a bit awkward, but everyone experiences pain at some point.

Use a video downloader and converter to snag all the copyright-free video you can from YouTube. Download lolCat photos and stuff from Failblog. All of these are great sources of comedy and you should be able to find something in there that will have you rolling on the floor.

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