Results of the Study
The study investigating the connection between swearing and pain was published in the journal NeuroReport. The experiment was conducted by comparing the amount of time in which participants can soak their hands in ice water.
67 students took part in the study. The students were also given an option of choosing their own expletive words and to repeat it at their own will. It has been found that when participants swear, they experience lesser pain. As such, they were able to keep their hands soaked in cold water for 40 seconds longer than those who didn’t swear.
Common Response to Pain
Researchers believe that although cursing is not a socially accepted behavior, there is a reason to think that it actually comes with benefits. According to a psychologist, swearing is a common response to pain. Furthermore, he believes that there is an underlying reason why people would do it.
Although researchers are not certain how swearing helps fibromyalgia pain, they suggest that it may be due to that part of the brain affecting emotion. Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain linked to neutral language can be found in the left brain. On the other hand, curse words came from an ancient evolved instinct. Moreover, part of the brain that is responsible for such process can be found deep within the brain’s right hemisphere.
Fight or Flight Response
Researchers believe that amygdala is responsible for the reaction. Amygdala triggers the fight or flight response which increases heart rate. Hence it enables the body to be less sensitive to pain. Scientists of the aforementioned study have also backed this by explaining that the heart rates of students in the study increased when they swear. This therefore suggests that the amygdala indeed was aroused.
Experts suggest that if you suffer from pain as a result of fibromyalgia, you can try swearing. However, they caution that the words can begin to lose their emotional potency if they are being repeated excessively. Therefore, try to be creative by coming up with new bad words each time you feel pain due to fibromyalgia.