Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Smile

Posted on: September 24, 2010

When you suffer from a head ache, do you frown a lot?

I do. A head ache affects all my daily plans / schedules / deliverables / deadlines and more. It violently drains the energy and positive attitude out of my mind and I can’t think of / work on anything else till the pain goes away completely. So I am usually in a bad mood when head ache hits me and bite the heads off anyone who dares to come nearby.

Fortunately, I have some good friends who advice me what to do during a head ache. Their suggestions range from ‘Go for a strong black coffee’ to ‘Listen to songs composed in Raaga Gowri Manohari. It soothes your brain.’

Of course, they all mean well. But winning a war with head ache is not that easy. Mainly because, the enemy is not outside.

Yesterday, I had one of those surprise head ache attacks and was in a real foul mood. My daughter gathered the courage to reach me out and ask ‘How is your headache?’

Before I could jump and bite her, she continued ‘My Yoga teacher told me that you should smile a lot. Then your head ache will go away!’

Smile? When Head ache attacks you? She must be joking!

But my daughter insisted I should smile and the head ache will vanish magically. I took her advice and tried. It helped me to forget the pain. But not sure if it cured the head ache itself.

Today (after the head ache is gone), I decided to search for more information on the relationship between Head ache and Smile. I was curious if smiling can solve such a painful problem.

Surprise! My daughter’s teacher was NOT joking. Smiling seems to be a proven cure for head ache. Really!

(Image Courtesy: Comedy_Nose

Source: &

According to the articles / books I referred to, we get head ache when platelets in our blood group together and stretch the sides of our brain’s blood vessels. When this happens, we face extreme pain in the region above / around the eyes.

Now, if we frown, those blood vessels will be squeezed (try it!). This puts extra pressure on the platelets inside and the pain increases.

On the other hand, if we smile, it relaxes the blood vessels, and slowly the head ache should go away. Smiling also releases a chemical called ‘endorphin’, which is known to reduce the head ache related pain.

Of course, there are many types of head aches and smiling can’t be the only treatment. But its cheap and more important, it spreads good energy around you, which may be the ultimate cure!



N. Chokkan …

24 09 2010


3 Responses to "Why Not? — Smile"

இடுக்கண் வருங்கால் நகுக

Endorphin may be true but blood vessel theory is wrong . . . Blood vessel stretching causes headache but it does not go by smile

Cluster headache sufferers typically experience severe headaches of a piercing quality near one eye or temple that last for fifteen minutes to three hours.The headaches are usually unilateral and occasionally change sides.:

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