This email from Dr. Weil made me laugh, and I’ll bet it won’t come as a surprise to a lot of you SurvivalMoms! I just wouldn’t recommend letting loose with your sailor-vocabulary around the kids!
Swearing may actually reduce the pain of, say, slicing your finger with a kitchen knife or accidentally banging your toes or your head. New research from Britain’s Keele University shows that when you let loose with a few four-letter words after these commonplace injuries, you can ease the discomfort. For the study, the investigators asked 64 volunteers to immerse their hands in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating their favorite swear word. Then, they were asked to repeat the experiment but to choose a word that they would use to describe a table. The researchers found that the volunteers could keep their hands in the ice water longer while swearing than when they repeated a non-swear word. Just how swearing helps reduce pain isn’t known, although the researchers commented that profanity appears to arise in the right brain and taps into emotional brain centers. And they noted that swearing may have persisted for many centuries and across cultures because it makes us feel somewhat better when we’re in pain. The study was published in the August 5, 2009 issue of the journal NeuroReport.