Tag Archives: endorphins

Pain 10% more bearable after laughing with friends

Laughing with friends for around 15 minutes boosts a person’s pain threshold by an average of 10%, an international study has found.

A research team led by evolutionary anthropologists from Oxford University in the UK has concluded that the endorphins released by a big belly laugh in a social setting can make pain more bearable.

Noting that previous studies had found laughter was more likely when in a group than when alone, the researchers conducted experiments where groups of participants watched comedy clips, including Mr Bean, or live comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A control group was shown factual videos like golf tournament footage.

After viewing, the participants were given pain tolerance tests such as seeing how long they could withstand cold, a tight blood pressure cuff or do strenuous exercise.

“We tested the hypothesis that social laughter elevates pain thresholds both in the laboratory and under naturalistic conditions. In both cases, the results confirmed that when laughter is elicited, pain thresholds are significantly increased, whereas when subjects watched something that does not naturally elicit laughter, pain thresholds do not change (and are often lower),” the researchers wrote in their paper, which was titled “Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold” and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“These results can best be explained by the action of endorphins released by laughter.”

Read the full article here.

News: Laughter Can Help Ease Stress, Pain And Even Fight Cancer

DID you hear the one about the man who listened to the match? He burnt his ear. OK, it’s not a side-splitter but if you responded with even the faintest chuckle, you may have saved yourself a few minutes off your next workout.
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Psychophysiology: Just The Expectation Of A Mirthful Laughter Experience Boosts Endorphins

There’s no doubt that laughter feels good, but is there real neurophysiology behind it and what can you do about it?
In a paper being presented in an American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology 2006, Lee S. Berk of Loma Linda University, reports that not only is there real science and psychophysiology, but just the anticipation of the “mirthful laughter” involved in watching your favorite funny movie has some very surprising and significant neuroendocrine/hormone effects.
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