Laughter: A Healing Power

Laughter  –  We all enjoying hearing it, we all enjoy doing it.  Laughter has natural healing powers.  It’s time to laugh more for your health!  Here’s why… 

For over a thousand years, long before the realm of modern science, age old proverbs reminded people of the healing power of laughter, 

A rejoicing heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22

Dr. Don Colbert shares that laughter is one of his prescriptions to patients who come to be placed on nutritional programs. He has discovered that when he asks patients how often they laugh, most cancer patients respond, “I never laugh.” He prescribes 10 belly laughs a day for his patients. (1)

Research has shown a wide variety of healing aspects from laughter:

Pain Relief – A study of patients recovering from surgery showed that the group which was allowed to choose the humorous movies they saw benefited the most from the laughter therapy and required fewer pain-killers compared with a control group that saw none at all. (2) Other research has also shown laughter to increase one’s pain threshold. (4)

Lower Blood Pressure – Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and dopamine (4); stress hormones, on the other hand, increase the number of platelets, causing obstructions in the arteries and raising blood pressure. (3)

Relaxation Therapy and Improved Digestion – French neurologist Henri Rubenstein said that even one minute of laughter can give the body up to 45 minutes of therapeutic relaxation. It also stimulates appetite and digestion. (1)

Boosted Immune System – Laughter increases natural killer cells which destroy tumors and viruses, Gamma-interferon–a disease fighting protein, T-cells–a vital part of the immune system, and B-cells–which make disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also increases salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against infectious organisms entering the respiratory tract. (3)

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Speedy Healing – French doctor Pierre Vachet, who studied the physiology of laughter, has concluded that laughter expands the blood vessels and sends more blood racing to the extremities. As it sends more oxygen to every cell in the body, it also serves to speed tissue healing and stabilize many body functions. (2)

Make it a point to daily experience the healing benefits of laughter.

E.E. Cummings said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” Since life is too valuable to be wasted, let us not waste a single day by letting it go by without frequent laughter.

If you feel you need help in developing the ability to laugh in your life, I actually found some beneficial info online at HelpGuide.org. It has 2 brief, practical articles to help you develop more laughter in your life, Bringing More Laughter into Your Life and Developing Your Sense of Humor.

1. Seven Pillars of Health, pg. 244, Dr. Don Colbert
2.
Alternative Healing/Laughter, Indiadiets.com
3.
Laughing Out Loud to Good Health, Library Think Quest
4.
The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter, Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com/Stress

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