Laughter can increase pain tolerance
A hearty laugh can not only make people feel better, but it also may be able to reduce chronic pain. According to a research team from Switzerland, who presented their findings at The European Pain Federation Congress last week, laughter can increase a person’s pain threshold and improve their quality of life.
The team conducted an experiment where people watched a funny film while holding their hands in ice water. Results showed that people who laughed could withstand the icy temperature longer than viewers who were not amused. The increased tolerance for pain lasted for 20 minutes after laughing. Researchers suspect laughter can help with pain because it releases endorphins and eases muscle tension. But faking it doesn’t count. It needs to be a real, hearty laugh for the benefits to take effect.
In the future, one researcher noted this information may be applied to treating chronic pain.