Swearing off pain

curse you red baronAccording to a 2009 paper published in NeuroReport, swearing may be good for women’s health.

Only an abstract of this 2009 study is available free, but a review here says swear words can have a powerful pain-killing effect, and that the effect is even more pronounced in women.

The physiological basis of this response is believed to be the amygdala, an “evolutionarily ancient structure buried deep inside the right half of the brain that can trigger a fight-or-flight response in which our heart rate climbs and we become less sensitive to pain,”  according to an article at Scientific American. Normal speech is centered on outer few millimeters of the brain’s left hemisphere.

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