Friday, 16 September 2011

Laughter 'boosts pain tolerance'

Laughter 'boosts pain tolerance'

Source : Press Association
Published on 16 September 2011 10:30 AM

People laughing

People are more resistant to pain after they have had a laugh, new research suggests.

Laughing may cause certain chemicals to be released by the body that sooth pain, according to the study published in the Royal Society's biological research journal and conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford.

The researchers split volunteers into two groups, one were shown 15 minutes of comedy videos while the other watched footage that the researchers thought was boring such as documentary programmes and golf.

The volunteers were subjected to some pain before and after viewing the videos and the researchers found that those who had recently belly laughed could take up to 10% more pain than they had before they started watching the material. In contrast, those who had watched the "boring" videos were less able to bear pain after 15 minutes of watching the material.

Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, who led the research, said: 'It's exactly what happens when we say 'I laughed until it hurt'. It seems to be extremely painful and it's that pain that produces the endorphin effect.'

Copyright Press Association 2011