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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Laugh the Pain Away!

This month a study was published in Proceedings B that showed laughter’s ability to reduce pain. Sounds fantastic, right?! In multiple experiments, people were given painful stimuli, such as skin contact with very cold temperatures, difficult exercises and tightening blood pressure cuffs. Their pain tolerance was measured, both before and after participants watched video clips of comedy or performed in comedic performances. Researchers used video clips of things like South Park, Mr. Bean, The Simpsons, Friends and clips of stand-up performances. For comparison participants also watched non-humorous, “feel good” types of clips.

The results showed that the “feel good” clips did not lessen pain, but watching or participating in comedic performances led to more pain tolerance. 15 minutes of laughter increased the level of pain tolerance by ~10%. Not only that, but those who laughed more got more pain relief! However, polite, somewhat-forced laughter did not generate more pain tolerance. This is because in natural, non-forced laughter our bodies experience involuntary, repetitive muscle exertion from exhaling without breathing in. This muscle use triggers an endorphin release, which in turn makes us feel less pain. You may remember me discussing this in an earlier post, Endorphins are a Good Thing.

I try to make sure that humor is infused into my life. One way that I do that is by watching TV. Some of my favorite shows that are sure to make me laugh are Modern Family, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, The Office, Parks and Recreation and The Daily Show. You’ll also catch me watching Futurama, Archer, Family Guy and American Dad! too. Luckily, with DVRs and online episodes, it is much easier to grab some laughs when they’re needed. Check out this video and catch an infectious laugh. Going out with friends is another way to increase your chances of having a laugh attack. I know I’ve surely had more with friends than when I’m sitting at home.

What’re your favorite comedy shows?

people laughing

Laugh your pain away!*

*Image Credit: from by eschipul


Comment from Mamatiara1
Time September 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

This reinforces what I have always believed – that humour is the way forward, not misery (goes for life generally I think, not just with physical pain). It is very hard sometimes – being miserable is certainly easier – but without laughter?…..well, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Take care x
Mamatiara1 recently posted: THE SEATS IN COSTAS


Felicia Fibro Reply:

*cheers* to that!


Comment from Krishelle
Time October 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

Since I’ve been diagnosed with fibro and pcos, I’ve spent the last 3 years finding stuff that makes me happy and takes my mind off of the pain. Reading and comedy shows are definitely what helps. I watch American Dad and Family Guy nightly, as well as Archer. Snl, Reba, Chelsea lately and anything on comedy central keeps me laughing. For Halloween I’m dressing up as Lana Kane :)


Felicia Fibro Reply:

I’d love to see a picture of your costume if you want to share it. Some of my friends want to have an Archer themed party!


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