The conncection between laughter and pain

Not very often , but occasionally when I have let things build up inside me a strange thing happens.  I will be laughing about something funny, or b/c I’m being tickled (which I hate but can’t help laughing), and it has to be REALLY laughing, uncontrollably, and then when I can laugh no more I pause for a moment and I can feel it coming.  There is no stopping it, it is like the dam has burst, the flood gates are open, and I start to cry with just about the same intensity. It’s a wonderful and terrible release of emotions.  Sometimes there are obvious reasons as to why I would  be crying and sometimes not.  Does this ever happen to anyone else?

I recently read this in my book (yes, that book again) and it started to make sense to me.

“Because laughter is a high-order brain activity that uses many parts of the brain, including those shut down by trauma, laughter can have a profoundly healing effect.  Many of the same parts of the brain that process pain also process laughter.  The laughter that we share in therapeutic circles is healing, cathartic, and bonding.  It is also very intimate and allows people to connect through humor as well as pain.”        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              T. Dayton

Maybe this is why sometimes spanking can make me laugh and it seems so funny, and other times it can make me cry.  The human brain is endlessly fascinating.  The author goes on to say that there are many emotions that are confined to specific areas of the brain, “but laughter is produced via a circuit that runs through many regions of the brain. Damage to any of these regions can impair one’s sense of humor and response to humor.”  



3 thoughts on “The conncection between laughter and pain

  1. greengirl says:

    I find this all very interesting. I know that many people laugh in response to pain, up to a point in any case. I also know that the pathways that carry the tickling sensation are much more closely related to pain pathways than normal touch sensation pathways. And then, how it all gets colored adn interpreted once in hte brain – is fascinating.

  2. Mick says:

    Ally, Interesting text. I didn’t know about the connections in the brain. But I do know that what you’re describing about yourself is not uncommon.

  3. Ally says:

    greengirl – I know, its amazing, I’ll probably write some more about the brain stuff, it just happens to be the chapt I’m on

    Mick – good, I am glad to not be the only one 🙂

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