Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Swearing Actually Helps with Pain!

Researchers hypothesized that swearing would reduce tolerance of pain due to "catastrophizing." Lo and behold, 64 college students proved otherwise in a Keele University study in the U.K.

According to Dr. Richard Stephen's team of researchers:

"(T)he pain-lessening effect occurs because swearing triggers our natural ‘fight-or-flight’ response. They suggest that the accelerated heart rates of the volunteers repeating the swear word may indicate an increase in aggression, in a classic fight-or-flight response of ‘downplaying feebleness in favour of a more pain-tolerant machismo.’ What is clear is that swearing triggers not only an emotional response, but a physical one too, which may explain why the centuries-old practise of cursing developed and still persists today."

Not sure if those around you will approve of this particular form of therapy but if they object, you can just note the research that supports swearing as a form of pain management. They may not all see the humor in such a movet! But then again, they may, and if the word gets out, seniors centers all around the world just may get a tad bit noisier.


Anonymous said...

Might this have something to do with the swearing behavior of many of those with Tourettes Syndrom?

Juice Boy said...

I don't think that this has anything to do with Tourettes, which is a nervous system disorder, but I could be wrong.

I think that it may be more of a mental lessening of pain. While pain is indeed physical, in many instances it can be mental. Therefore, uttering a good ole fashion salty swear word may allow the brain to "reboot" to clear itself and move onward.

Once again, just my opinion.