Storytelling for Pain Relief????

Story Squad just finished a storytelling session in UNC Hospitals, in the hospital school and in the rooms with the children who couldn’t attend at the school. One child was in a lot of pain after whatever procedure he had to have to help him recover, and he was moaning and crying quietly to himself.  When I asked if he would like a story, I got no response, so I took that as an invitation to try.  I know that storytelling can help transport listeners to the story world, and I thought this might help him get over his pain.  So….I started out.  “Once upon a time, there lived a lion…”  After about 2 minutes, this beautiful child stopped moaning; after three minutes he was no longer crying, and when I left, he was quiet and drowsy, and ready to fall asleep.  I don’t know whether the effect lasted, but I do know that the storytelling took him out of his pain for the duration of the story. It’s not scientific evidence; it’s not research or generalizable, but it was certainly effective in this instance.  The power of story to enchant and take us out of ourselves never ceases to amaze me!  -Brian, Director of Story Squad