Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Researchers show that if we can laugh for fifteen minutes each day that it helps our blood flow, which in turn helps our heart. I have heard this saying all off my life, and I am sure you have too, “laughter is the best medicine”. Well, I guess it really is. Can you imagine going to the doctor’s office and instead of a prescription you get a list of comedy videos or a couple of names of good joke books? Wouldn’t that seem strange? Studies and researchers have discovered that laughter affects the body in many, many, good ways and we don’t even realize it.

Have you ever thought that your blood pressure can be lowered, laughter reduces stress, and laughter even helps your immune system? Why do more people not use this very pleasant pain free “drug”? I think this will be my drug of choice from now on. We just need to get more people turned on to it. Would you agree? Don’t think you can replace eating right and daily exercise with laughing for fifteen minutes a day. You still need to continue this, but next time it is raining or cold out-side and you can’t get in you day of physical activity, just go to your local video rental store, or turn on the comedy channel on your TV and have yourself a really good belly laugh. The endothelium, the inner lining of a blood vessel has a great effect when it comes to regulating blood flow. The purpose of the endothelium is to regulate the thickening of the blood and secrete certain chemicals in response to wounds, infection, cuts, or irritations.

The endothelium is the first place doctors look when evaluating a condition of the hardening of the arteries. As a result of this study, could it be possible to tie laughter to the healthy functioning of the endothelium, and therefore to healthier blood vessels? Many members of the medical field are admitting that it is a distinct possibility. Laughter offsets the impact of mental stress which is harmful to the endothelium. A group of men and women, equally divided with an average age of 33 participated in a study to try and prove or disprove this theory. They were all non-smokers with relatively few other medical conditions, and had received average results for blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, and glucose levels. The subjects were asked to watch two movies: one that produced laughter, and one that produced mental stress. The movies were shown 48 hours apart, and the subjects were monitored for blood flow changes such as blood pressure, blood flow levels, and vessel relaxation. What happened? The subjects’ bodies behaved as though they had partaken in physical activity, without the usual pain of exercise. As you can see, researchers have gone to great lengths to check this out.

The results of the studies point to the laughter/health connection. Once again we can see where laughter plays a very important role in our health and happiness. Like I said earlier, laughing does not take the place of exercise but can be used as an exercise. Suppose you had a day when it was thundering, lightning and raining cats and dogs. It would be tempting to curl up on the sofa with a book or watch TV. Well that might not be so bad if you got the right book or the right TV program. You will need to spend a little time and find something that will be funny. It will be best if it can give you a large amount of belly laughs. If it is not raining today and you have the time, go ahead and plan for your rainy day by getting your movie and book ready.

Who knows you may even want to use them when you return from your walk. Another little hint: if you have family or friends include them in your laughter exercise. It certainly won’t hurt anybody and could possibly turn into a regular habit. We all know that physical exercise is a must if you are to enjoy good health. We also know that some of us do not particularly like exercise everyday. That’s where laughter comes in as a big helper. Whether we have to exercise, by that I mean walk, jog, ride a bike or lift weights, we can make the time pass quicker with laughter included. Don’t you feel better when you are down and out and can watch a good comedy show or a good funny movie, I know I always do. Try it you might like it.

Copyright (c) 2007 Stewart Levison