Using Icy Waters, Researchers Replicated Pain from Medical Procedures. Laughter Helped.
A 2007 research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center showed that laughter could help dull the pain that children and adolescents have when they’re getting painful medical procedures. It can actually also dull the pain associated with many medical procedures.
Here is the research protocol:
Eighteen healthy children aged seven to 16 – 12 boys and six girls – with a mean age of 12 participated in the study. An ice chest was fitted with a plastic mesh screen to separate crushed ice from a plastic mesh armrest placed in 50 degree water. Water was circulated through the ice by a pump to prevent local warming. Participants placed a hand in the cold water to a depth of two inches above the wrist for up to three minutes maximum. Hands were warmed between tests with warm towels.
Researchers documented how long each child kept their hands in the cold water, noting how many times the child laughed and smiled during the process.
Those children and adolescents who showed the greatest signs of laughter were able to keep their hands in the cold water for significantly long periods of time. While further research is needed, this study gives clear indications that laughter should be looked to for pain management.
Where is the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center?