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Laughter Shown to Improve our Health and Wellbeing

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 by: Alex Howard
Tags: laughter, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) We all know that it feels good to laugh. We know that a good comedy can uplift our mood and that laughing with friends can completely change how we feel. In fact, we`ve all heard the phrase "Laughter is the best medicine." Now a recent study shows that laughter can transform our physical health.

A study was carried out in December 2008 which proved the incredible physical impact that laughing can have. The study showed that laughing can be a powerful immune system booster. In the study, diabetics were shown comic videos and laughed together with hospital staff on one day. On the other day, they participated in an inpatient diabetes educational program.

Blood samples were collected before and after watching comedies and again after the lecture time. The changes in gene expression were comprehensively analyzed by microarray technique. Of the 41,000 genes analyzed, the laughter increased the function of (up-regulated) 39 genes. The conclusion is, if you want to boost your immune system, make sure you laugh more.

Another study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore studied the effects of laughter on the cardiovascular system. It was discovered that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. A group of people were shown a funny movie that made them laugh. This caused the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.

When the same group of study volunteers was shown a movie that produced mental stress, their blood vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow.

The benefits of laughing are far reaching. Laughing has previously been found to help fight infections, relieve hay fever, ease pain and help with chronic fatigue.

Here are our top 5 tips to more laughter:

1.Watch comedies. We all have different tastes, so we all need to identify the sorts of comedies that are most likely to make us laugh. We may enjoy stand-up, sitcoms or dark comedies. Having plenty of opportunities for laughing around can help lift our moods and enhance our life.

2.Spend time with friends that make you laugh. We all know people that whenever we are around them we just feel happy and playful. Spend more time with them!

3.Practice laughing. Yes, in all seriousness, practice your laugh for no reason. You can literally fake it until you make it; the more wild and ridiculous you sound trying to laugh the more it will just make you laugh!

4.Practice telling jokes. Get some good joke books, and with friends or family you can just say to them, "I have this new joke I`ve heard, do you want to here it?" Sometimes, the more horrendous the joke is, the more people laugh.

5.Take life less seriously generally. It`s so easy to get caught in the habit of thinking we have to take things seriously, but generally speaking, the more serious we are about our problems, the more serious they become. People will often say, one day we will look back on this and laugh. Why not just laugh now!

Biomedical Research, Dec 2008;28(6):281-5. PMID: 18202517, Hayashi T, Tsujii S, Iburi T, Tamanaha T, Yamagami K, Ishibashi R, Hori M, Sakamoto S, Ishii H, Murakami K. Bio-Laboratory, Foundation for

Advancement of International Science, Tsukuba, Japan.


About the author

Alex Howard is author of "WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness" and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic, an award winning clinic specialising in M.E./C.F.S./Fibromyalgia based in Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. The clinic has treated over 5,000 patients with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia in over twenty-five countries around the world, and is currently running a two year clinical trial in conjunction with two top universities. A free information pack, including a 75 documentary about the clinic and its work, can be ordered from www.FreedomFromME.co.uk

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