Saturday, November 7, 2009

Swearing Makes You Feel Less Pain.... Music To My Ears

That muttered curse word that reflexively comes out when you stub your toe could actually make it easier to bear the throbbing pain, a new study suggests.

Swearing is a common response to pain, but no previous research has connected the uttering of an expletive to the actual physical experience of pain.

"Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon," said Richard Stephens of Keele University in England and one of the authors of the new study. "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain."

Stephens and his fellow Keele researchers John Atkins and Andrew Kingston sought to test how swearing would affect an individual's tolerance to pain.

Because swearing often has an exaggerating effect that can overstate the severity of pain, the team thought that swearing would lessen a person's tolerance.

As it turned out, the opposite seems to be true.

The researchers enlisted 64 undergraduate volunteers and had them submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating a swear word of their choice.

The experiment was then repeated with the volunteer repeating a more common word that they would use to describe a table.

Contrary to what the researcher expected, the volunteers kept their hands submerged longer while repeating the swear word.

The researchers think that the increase in pain tolerance occurs because swearing triggers the body's natural "fight-or-flight" response.

Who knew?,2933,...est=latestnews


The Incredible Woody said...

I knew I enjoyed flinging a good curse word for some reason:)

Beth Dunn said...

I have heard that before. Amen cause I do have a potty mouth from time to time. xoxo


Green-Eyed Momster said...

I like to live my life as pain free as I can. As you can probably tell from my posts. Although the one about my scale...I wasn't in physical pain, just emotional pain. ;)


imbeingheldhostage said...

wow, not only are you posting daily but you're educating us along the way? You are amazing!

BTW, did that research say anything about swearing helps reduce the risk of heart attack in a raging Mom? Just askin'

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Will you engrave all that on a plaque so ThatManILove will get off my A&& about my @#$%^^& mouth??

Pam said...

Whew, thanks for the scientific data to back up my lack of creative use of the English language! Where do you find all this stuff out???

Mental P Mama said...

No comment;)

Heather said...

I need a study that says swearing improves your golf game.

imom said...

I always thought swearing helped everything! :)


Blog Designed by: NW Designs