Laughter The Best Medicine?

By: Gerry Hopman

Laughter and health
Laughing appears to boost your blood flow and it may reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Why does laughter expand your blood vessels?
Researchers are not certain how laughter expands blood vessels. One theory is that the effect is a result of the movement of the diaphragm muscles as you laugh, chuckle, or guffaw. Another idea is that it is caused by chemicals called endorphins being released when you laugh.

Are there other benefits of having a good laugh?

There is lots of evidence that laughter does a lot of good things:

  •  It reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort.
  •  It reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics as well as non-diabetics.
  • There is new evidence that laughter helps your blood vessels to function better. It acts on the inner lining of blood vessels, causing vessels to relax, expand and increase blood flow.
  • Laughing reduces allergic responses, including hay fever symptoms.
  • Laughing is thought to help you in fighting off illnesses by boosting the immune system.
  • Laughing lifts your mood – even if you fake your laugh.
  • Laughing reduces the effect of stress by lowering stress hormone levels.
  • Laughter establishes, or restores as the case may be, a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people.

Humans were designed to laugh
Laughter is nature’s stress buster. It lifts our spirits with a happy high that makes us feel good and improves our behavior towards others.

Just a few generations ago happy health happy humans spent an average of 20 minutes or more a day in laughter. Today, adult daily laughter is down to an average of 4 – 6 minutes a day in many modern countries. This is one of the worst aspects of modern society.

Laugh yourself healthy
We all know that laughter makes us feel good. A regular 20 minute laughter session can have profound impact on our health and well-being. Laughter is a gentle exercise. It fills the lungs and body with oxygen, deep-clears your breathing passages and exercises your lungs. This is really important for people who don’t get regular aerobic exercise.

When we laugh, our bodies release a cocktail of hormones and chemicals that have startling and positive effects on our system. Stress is reduced, blood pressure drops, depression is lifted, your immune system is boosted and more. Western science is just starting to discover the great effects of laughter.

About the Author:

Gerry HopmanGerry Hopman, BA, C.H.R.P., C.L.Y.L. Is a Humorist, Humor Motivational Speaker and Author. He believes that humor and laughter are essential to balance in life and career.

His website points out that humor and laughter not only entertain and make us feel good, but that they are instrumental for good health, personal wellness, stress management, longevity, and much more.