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Why does sneezing feel so good? © Daniel Bright

Why does sneezing feel so good?

Asked by: James Foster

It’s popularly claimed that a sneeze is equivalent to one-seventh of an orgasm. While we can certainly debate the exact fraction, there is a grain of truth to this. The relaxation after any intense muscle contraction is pleasurable because it triggers the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins – try this for yourself by squeezing your stomach muscles really tightly. A sneeze is also a response to an ‘itch’, and scratching an itch always brings relief.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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