Laughter as Painkiller

Uncontrolled laughter releases endorphins which not only cause the feeling of euphoria, but also reduce the pain, as the scientists from the University of Oxford believe. This effect is produced when the air comes out of the lungs while laughing.

Woman laughing

As a proof, an experiment has been conducted. The people were divided into 2 groups. The first group was told to watch a funny video for 15 minutes, and the second group was forced to watch a boring program dedicated to golf. It turned out that the volunteers, who had been laughing, were able to sustain 10% more pain. Before viewing the video they could not boast resisting pain any better than the second group of volunteers. The type of laughter also played its role. Giggles were weaker if compared to a full-fledged laughter. In addition, the scientists decided that the simplest jokes in the style of comedy series are preferable if you have to endure the pain.

Unfortunately, they could not directly measure the level of endorphins because of the need of a puncture. So they had to evaluate the susceptibility to pain with the help of a bag of ice which was given to the volunteers to hold. The longer a person could keep it, the higher level of endorphins he/she had.

Source of the image: Photl.