Natural Endorphin Release and Pain Management

Ideally the release of Endorphin in our body reduces pain perception. According to [1] sensation of winning triggers endorphin release (would “fake” winning during improvisation have same impact?). Any of UV-light, placebo effect, social interaction, gratitude and appreciation of beautiful surrounding (AR/VR may be useful here for terminally ill patients — we can show their favorite places that they are no longer able to visit) causes endorphin release.

In [2] it is mentioned that social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold. However according to another article [?] bringing laughter in a group setting may be a problem as everyone may not feel the same content to be funny.

According to [3], reduction in brain’s electrical wave that goes down to the alpha level can cause release of endorphin. It also says that using music or sound we can bring the brain waves at alpha level. So it is possible to cause endorphin release with music. According to this study [4] — EEG recording showed that alpha activity level increases during divergent thinking in people with aptitude for creativity. The activity increases in case of more original ideas/thinking (read spontaneous improvisation). So our goal could be to get people involved in more original thinking during an episode of pain to reduce pain perception.

According to [5] — if the content that causes laughter is repeated then it may no longer cause the same level/amount of laughter. So novelty of the content may be very important. However in [6] we noticed that novelty of music during improvisation is not appreciated by all personality types — lack of familiarity can cause anxiety in some people. The same point may be valid for laughter causing content (part of improvisation or not) too.

To be continued.

Further Reading:





[5] How do we know what is the best medicine? — Robin Nunn’s PhD thesis