Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yes, laughter is the best medicine

Yes, it’s confirmed (well, sort of). Laughter is a natural pain-killer.  According to a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society - http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1731/1161 - Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold. In fact that’s the name of the study.

How so? As reported by Cari Nierenberg of TheBodyOdd, “It seems that cracking up in the company of other people releases endorphins, the same feel-good brain chemicals triggered while exercising.”

In this case, I’m highly disappointed that I didn’t get chose to be a study participant.  Why? Nierenberg says that “In some studies, half of the volunteers watched a comedy video -- ranging from episodes of "South Park" and "Friends" to "Mr. Bean" and "The Simpsons" -- while the others viewed a documentary on dull stuff like golf instruction, pet training, or a nature show. “

Actually I think the clear next step is to combine the two and have participants watch funny cat videos. If so, you just can’t beat these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf_IIbT8HGk


PS – And just to be clear, I’m more of a Mr. Bean fan than a funny cat video fan.
PPS – Here’s a link to Ms. Nierenberg’s article http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/18/15114626-comic-relief-laughter-is-a-natural-painkiller?ll_leid=81&refer=9912

Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_16061355_happy-small-child-in-santa-hat.html'>rimdream / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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