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Study - Swearing May Lessen Pain

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 12:29 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Swearing, Pain, Cursing, Casual Swearing


IMAGE SOURCE: iStockPhoto / lady swearing / Juanmonino

Cut your finger? Bump your funny bone? %!$&*@#!

New scientific research finds swearing might help to lessen the perception of pain.

Swearing can make you feel better as it can have a “pain-lessening” effect, according to researchers from Keele University School of Psychology.

For the study, researchers asked 64 volunteers to stick their hands in icy water twice – for up to five minutes. The first time, participants were asked to repeat a curse word over and over. The second time, they were asked to repeat an everyday, neutral word.

The findings show they were able to keep their hands in the ice water for a longer duration of time when swearing, establishing a link between swearing and an increase in pain tolerance.

According to researchers it is unclear how or why this link exists. Those who swore had increased heart rates, indicating that profanities might jumpstart the fight-or-flight response, the study authors noted.

“Swearing triggers an emotional and physical response, which may help explain why the centuries-old practice of cursing developed and continues to persist today,” said Richard Stephens, lead author.

But, cautions Dr. Stephens, “If you want to use this pain-lessening effect to your advantage, you need to do less casual swearing.”

“Swearing is an emotional language, if overused it loses its emotional attachment.”

The study findings are published in the August 5 issue of the journal NeuroReport. #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Michael Hakansson
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 6:46 PM EST

Here is a example where "swearing" doesent help against the pain


Comments for this article are closed.

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