Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughter is the easiest form of meditation and brings instant relaxation in a pleasant way. Dr. Lee Berk of California labels laughter as a state of eustress, which in psychological terms, is the opposite of distress.

The act of laughter instantly lowers blood pressure for hypertensive persons, stimulates the brain, expands and enriches the blood vessels with oxygen, and sends more blood racing to the extremities.

Laughter vastly reduces levels of the stress hormones epinephrine & cortisol in the body and instantly relieves stress, tension and depression.

The stress hormone cortisol is reduced during laughter, and conversely the happiness hormone oxytocin level is enhanced which triggers a spike in immune-boosting antibodies

Laughter raises the antibodies immunoglobulin A in the respiratory passages which strengthens the immune system of the body and protects from infections, allergies and cancers.

Sustained laughter gradually increases the levels of cytokine in the blood – a white blood cell enhancer which builds antibodies and helps prevent illnesses.

Laughter causes the endothelium – the inner lining of blood vessels – to dilate, increasing blood flow. The endothelium is the first sign of hardening of the arteries and laughter therefore reduces the risk of heart disease.

Laughter is a form of stationery jogging and provides the same health benefits as vigorous aerobic exercise by stimulating the heart and blood circulation. 20 seconds of heavy laughter is equal to 3 minutes of hard rowing and will burn upto 400 calories per hour!

Laughter increases lung capacity and therefore promotes the body’s ability to store oxygen, the life-force that helps us stay young and disease-free. This is good news for asthma and bronchitis patients. A daily dose of laughter is anti-ageing and beats any anti-oxidant pill on the market!

Laughter increases the levels of endorphins in the body – these are natural pain killers and greatly help in coping with the suffering from arthritis, spondylitis, migraine and muscular spasms, and all aches & pains.

A new study demonstrates that laughing causes the tissue of blood vessels – endothelium – to expand and therefore increase blood flow – exactly what aerobic exercise does.

When we laugh, we exercise 15 muscles facial muscles which turn our faces pink with a happier glow – beats any cosmetic in replacing wrinkles and worry lines with the laugh lines of youth!

A recent study at Stanford concludes that laughter stimulates the parts of our brain that use the “feel good” chemical messenger dopamine. This puts laughter into the “necessary” category of activities that are pleasurably addictive, and more so in the myriads of health benefits that accrue.

One of the best ways to lighten up is to laugh and release yourself from fear’s grip. Laughter instantly raises your energy, heals you and clears away negativity, confusion and mind chatter. Literally, it chases the devil away which is illusion, distortion and confusion and instead re-energises you to lose your ego and merge with the divine.

Above all, laughter is “the shortest distance between two people” and improves interpersonal relationships. It removes your inhibitions, develops your personality and enhances your leadership qualities.

To look at the yogic origins of laughteryoga do pls visit yogaconnection to find out more about the exact yoga exercise which laughteryoga is built upon.

Perhaps even more important in scope than the individual benefits are the workplace benefits of laughteryoga.

Interesting links that further shed light on the subject of how humor and laughter relate to health are:

http://www.holisticonline.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy.htm
http://www.laughterforhealth.com/press_room.html
http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

The Many Benefits of Laughter


http://www.looksmartmom.com/p/search?tb=art&pi=gbl&qt=Laughter+%2F+Health+aspects&sn=0
http://www.aath.org
http://www.drleeberk.com
http://www.umbc.edu/tmp/provine/bio.html

For further information on the subject go to http://laughteryoga.org/about-benefits-laughter.php and http://laughteryoga.org/about3-benefits-laughter.php and the scientific research link further amplifies on this subject. For those wishing yet further details this link further subdivides into existing research outlining the present scientific data to back up the benefits claimed by laughter and the fresh new research study to be launched – designed to study directly the effects of simulated laughteryoga on an active and control group.