Pain relief from laughter
Type of Spiritual Experience
Laughter appears to possess unique characteristics for coping with pain. It is actually used in hospitals and medical centres to help those with diseases that produce great pain. It is not just the release of endorphins, but the subsequent lowering of tension, as well as the distraction that results from humour that combine to help patients.
There are a large number of papers on this subject on Pubmed – use ‘humour’ or ‘mirthful laughter’ as a keyword. See also the entry for Norman Cousins
A description of the experience
J Holist Nurs 1998 Mar;16(1):68-75. Humor and pain management. A review of current literature. - Matz A, Brown ST; Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA.
The purpose of this article is to provide a review of current literature related to humor and pain management.
A brief review of the benefits of humor on the body is followed by a literature review of articles on humor and pain management, including research articles and scholarly articles on the topic.
Research studies on the use of humor with both acute and chronic pain will be reported.
The review of scholarly unresearched articles will include articles giving guidelines for humor use, suggested humor assessment guidelines, discussion of the nurse's role with humor use, and implementation strategies via humor carts and rooms.
The source of the experiencePubMed
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Humor as a cognitive technique for increasing pain tolerance - Weisenberg M, Tepper I Schwarzwald J - Bar-Ilan University, Department of Psychology, Ramat-Gan, Israel.
Laughter, humor and pain perception in children: a pilot study - Stuber M, Hilber SD, Mintzer LL, Castaneda M, Glover D, Zeltzer L.; Semel Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA