Awakenings Wellness Center, Portland Oregon

Articles by our Therapists

10 Good Reasons To Laugh For No Reason

Posted 04/17/08 by Andrea Wright Anderson

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

1. Laughter is a stress buster

* It reduces the levels of the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol.

2. Laughter strengthens the immune system

* The immune system is important in maintaining good health by keeping infections, allergies and cancer at bay. * Recent research into the effects of laughter by Dr. Lee S. Berk, Professor at Loma Linda University, California, USA, demonstrates that laughter will increase the count of natural killer cells (NK cells - a type of white cell) and antibody levels. * Laughter therapy helps to increase antibodies (Immunoglobulin A) in the mucous of the nose and respiratory passages.

3. Laughter is anti-ageing

* It tones facial muscles and expressions. * Laughter causes an increase in blood supply to the face, which is why some people look flushed. This nourishes the skin and makes it glow. * People look younger and more fun when they laugh!

4. Laughter is aerobic exercise

* Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation and is equivalent to any other standard aerobic exercise. * Dr. William Fry, Standford University, USA claims one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. * The singular benefit almost everybody derives is a sense of well-being because more oxygen is taken in during laughter. * It is an exercise regime suitable for all, including people confined to a bed or a wheelchair.

5. Laughter is internal jogging

* Laughter massages internal organs by enhancing the blood supply and increasing their efficiency. This is especially good for proper bowel movement. * Laughter exercises the abdominal muscles and helps to improve muscle tone.

6. Laughter is a natural pain killer

* Laughter increases the levels of endorphins  the bodys natural pain killers. Norman Cousins, an American journalist who was suffering from an incurable disease of the spine, benefited from laughter therapy in a situation when all painkillers were ineffective. * Endorphins released as a result of laughter may help in reducing the intensity of pain in those suffering from arthritis, spondylitis, Parkinsons, Fibromyalgia and muscular spasms of the body.

7. Laughter can reduce high blood pressure

* Laughter helps to control blood pressure by reducing the release of stress-related hormones. * Laughter dialates the blood vessels. * Experiments have demonstrated that a 10-minute laughter session leads to a reduction of 10-20 mm in blood pressure. (Note: This however does not mean that patients taking tablets for blood pressure every day will necessarily be cured.)

8. Laughter can help depression and anxiety

* The stress and strain of modern life takes a heavy toll on the human mind and body, but laughter can help you sleep better! * It can reduce depression, by creating happy chemicals in your body and mind. Some people claim they can manage without prescribed anti-depressant pills and tranquillizers.

9. Laughter can alleviate bronchitis and asthma

* Laughter improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood. * Laughter Club members report a marked reduction in the frequency of asthma attacks.

10. Laughter just makes you feel good

Laugh and the world laughs with you. How you react to life is up to you. Live life laughing!

Source: Andrea

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