"It doesn't matter why you laugh. Even in small doses, it improves our overall quality of life. You can condition people to feel more positive." Jodi Deluca, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
- Laughter cuts health costs
- Depression / Stress
- Heart Health
- Life Expectancy
- Weight Loss
Laughter cuts health costs
New research in Japan has shown that laughter therapy is an efficient low-cost medical treatment that cuts health costs. Geneticist Kazuo Murakami considers that laughter is a stimulant, which can trigger energy inside a person's DNA potentially helping cure disease. "A laughing therapy has no side-effect, meaning it is an epoch-making treatment for clinical medicine," he said. "If we prove people can switch genes on and off by an emotion like laughter, it may be the finding of the century which should be worth the Nobel Prize or even go beyond that."
His research is published in the January 2006 edition of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, a US academic journal. The ministry of economy, trade and industry believes that laughter therapy could be used as preventive medical care. With the ministry's financial support, Osaka Sangyo University in western Japan formed a joint venture with researchers, firms and doctors in 2004 to provide elderly people with a complete medical care program combining physical training and laughter therapy.
According to project officials, the 92 participants polled said their combined annual medicare costs fell 23 per cent after they joined the program.
According to a recent study, fostering a happy frame of mind may bring allergy symptom relief. In the study, the allergic responses of study participants were significantly lower after viewing a humorous videotape than they were after viewing a non-humorous tape. Researchers are not sure why laughter may alleviate allergic symptoms. However, laughter does reduce stress, tension, and anxiety, which may help strengthen the immune system. Effect of humour on allergen-induced wheat reactions. Kimata, H., Journal of the American Medical Association 2001 Feb 14; 285(6):738. http://www.humourfoundation.com.au/index.php?page=222
Although only anecdotal, the feedback we hear from people who practice Laughter Yoga with Alzheimer patients is extremely inspiring. The people they work with typically experience a consistent improvement in memory, mood states, and overall cognitive levels after an 8 week course of weekly 1 hour laughter session.
The Ability to pun may be retained in Alzheimer disease.
Hawkins DB, Graff-Radford NR
This case report describes an 81-year-old female with moderately severe Alzheimer disease who, in spite of some severe cognitive deficits, is able to express impressive humor through the extensive use of puns. Neurocase 2007 Feb, 13:50-4
Laughter may not be the most scientific alternative, yet it has proved right the old adage that it is the best medicine. A good laugh has the ability to ease pain as a result of disease or injury. Laughter offers respite from arthritis stress and provides both physical and mental relief.
Approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis and almost the same number suffers from spondylitis. Nearly 40 million persons in the United States alone are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children!
Both arthritis and spondylitis are debilitating disorders with inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain and the common symptoms include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints in arthritis is characterized by stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis caused by the wear and tear of cartilage and the other is other is rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system. Among the spondylitis family, Anklyosing spondylitis is the primary disease and is a form of chronic arthritis that primarily affects the spine.
Documented research has proved that laughter has enormous benefits on one’s physical, mental and emotional health. It is more than just a physical response. It is a great workout that boosts the immune system, increases circulation and the threshold for pain.
Scientific studies show that laughter has positive effects on the heart, blood vessels, stress hormones, mental health and family relationships. These health benefits of laughter all contribute to smoother overall functioning, which in turn speeds injury healing and helps manage chronic pain.
Nearly 2/3 of people with asthma reported having asthma attacks that were triggered by laughter, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting in 2005. It did not seem to matter how deep of a laugh the laughter entailed, whether it be a giggle, chuckle, or belly laugh, says Stuart Garay, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at New York University Medical Center in New York. Patients were part of an 18 month long program who were evaluated for a list of asthma triggers. The patients did not have any major differences in age, duration of asthma, or family history of asthma. However, exercise-induced asthma was more frequently found in patients who also had laughter-induced asthma, according to the study. 61% of laughter induced asthma also reported exercise as a trigger, as opposed to only 35% without laughter-induced asthma. Andrew Ries, M.D. indicates that it probably involves both movements in the airways as well as an emotional reaction. - WebMD 2005
Laughter improves breast milk's health effect
June 18, 2007 NewScientist.com
Breastfed babies with eczema experienced milder symptoms if their mothers laughed hours before feeding them, according to a study by Hajime Kimata at the Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Osaka, Japan.
Studies have shown that children who have a clown present prior to surgery along with their parents and medical staff had less anxiety than children who just had their parents and medical staff present. High levels of anxiety prior to surgery leads to a higher risk of complications following surgeries in children. According to researchers, about 60% of children suffer from anxiety before surgery. The study involved 40 children ages 5 to 12 who were about to have minor surgery. Half had a clown present in addition to their parents and medical staff, the other half only had their parents and medical staff present. The results of the study showed that the children who had a clown present had significantly less pre-surgery anxiety. - WebMD 2005
Watching Funny Shows Helps Children Tolerate Pain for Longer Periods.
October 19, 2007
Watching comedy shows helped children tolerate pain for longer periods of time, suggesting that humorous distraction could be used in clinical settings to help children and adolescents better handle painful procedures, according to a study which teamed UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center with the nonprofit organization Rx Laughter. [Read More]
Depression / Stress
A Brazilian health centre is treating patients suffering from depression, stress and diabetes with 'laughter therapy'. Patients who attend the weekly sessions, at Fortaleza, north-eastern Brazil, are encouraged to all laugh out loud together. To help put patients in the mood, staff organise activities, such as paper fights and karaoke sessions, to make them laugh. Pensioner Aldira Rodrigues told Jornal Hoje: "I have been to many doctors and have never seen anything like that before. I found it weird at first." Dr Jaqueline Sales said: "Laugh can help in the treatment of various conditions, especially those connected to depression, anxiety, hypertension and diabetes." Story filed: 15:05 Thursday 15th May 2003
Forced laughter is a powerful, readily available and cost-free way for many adults to regularly boost their mood and psychological wellbeing
Laughter modulates prorenin receptor gene expression in patients with type 2 diabetes.
if you have diabetes, makes sure you put laughter on the menu when planning your meals. Positive emotions such as laughter may help to control spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal. People in a study who watched a funny video during dinner had lower blood sugar levels after the meal compared to the people who watched a lecture video during dinner. Keeping blood sugar levels stable will help to ward off diabetic complications. Laughter lowered the increase in postprandial blood glucose. Hayashi K, Hayashi T, Iwanaga S, Kawai K, Ishii H, Shoji S, Murakami K.
Watching a Funny Video for 30 Minutes Per Day May Help High-Risk Type 2 Diabetes Patients Improve Heart Health
During the yearlong study, the patients got blood tests every two months. After only two months, the patients in the laughter group had a better HDL ("good") cholesterol level than the patients in the comparison group. Four months into the study, the laughter group had lower blood levels of certain inflammatory chemicals. Those patterns could mean a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, note Berk and Tan. SOURCES: American Physiological Society's 122nd annual meeting, held at Experimental Biology 2009, New Orleans, April 18-22, 2009. Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif.
Laughter The Best Medicine for fertility treatment
By LYNDSAY MOSS. Published Date: 21 June 2006
CLOWNS are helping women undergoing fertility treatment to conceive, Israeli doctors said yesterday. After introducing clown therapy to patients having in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), doctors at Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Zerifin said their conception rate rose from 20 per cent to 35 per cent.
Humour proved to extend life
Researchers at NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital in Norway have found the first evidence in history that proves that a sense of humour reduces mortality.
A laugh a day may keep death further away.
By Marilyn Elias, USAToday March 13, 2007
Adults who have a sense of humor outlive those who don't find life funny, and the survival edge is particularly large for people with cancer, says Sven Svebak of the medical school at Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Not everyone buys that view. "I'm very skeptical," says William Breitbart, psychiatry chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Having a laugh can be a kilojoule burner, scientists reported at the European Congress on Obesity. Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee monitored the heart rate, breathing information and laughter of 90 people locked in a room watching comedy clips on TV. Those laughing burned 20 per cent more kilojoules. Laughing 10-15 minutes a day would burn 2.2 kilograms a year the researchers reported.