How Language Affects Pain
Here’s a fascinating piece from the New York Times, Burning, Crushing, Stabbing: How Words Affect Pain — the language you use could make a difference on the pain you feel.
Reporter Cameron Walker runs through a list of surprising observations related to multilingual patients. For instance:
- swearing at pain in your nondominant language can be more effective at providing relief than letting fly in your native tongue,
- other languages have words for pain with no direct English translation, leaving patients at a loss to describe the type of pain they feel.
The piece is part of a series from the Times on chronic pain, and includes stories on how to build a care team to deal with pain, how psychological counseling can help, and the benefits of exercise. Scroll down to the bottom of the language story to see the complete line-up.