Health Benefits of Laughter
Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, improve heart health, lower cholesterol and impact weight loss. With this knowledge, we invented LaughtercisingTM and hope you will add laughter to your health, fitness and beauty regime.
Dr. Andrew Weil, in his April 2005 newsletter wrote: I think it’s (laughter) one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, and preliminary research suggests laughter may also boost immunity, relieve pain, lower blood sugar in people with type-2 diabetes, and help protect against heart disease.
“Laughter is healing and it’s documented that medically it’s good for you to laugh. Laughter is so important.”
“Everyone should laugh at least once a day. It provides emotional and physical benefits.”
“Laughing is great exercise. It tightens your abs, gets your endorphins going, and filters out all those anxieties that weigh you down.” Denise Austin, TV fitness guru.
Two studies released on March 8, 2005 at the American College of Cardiology recommend that people try to laugh on a regular basis. Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore said, “Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system. The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be to exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day.”
According to a study by Maciej S. Buchowski, PhD, and his colleagues, using a whole-room indirect calorimeter at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, a daily laughter workout of 15 minutes can burn 40 calories and melt away 4 pounds over the course of a year.
Up to 80 muscles are used during a hearty laugh, the blood pressure rises, the heart beats faster and blood oxygen levels increase. In fact, a study released last year by German Gelotologist Professor Gunther Sickl revealed that a one-minute guffaw has the same health benefits as a 45-minute gym workout. When the laughter stops, the blood pressure returns to normal and stress hormones are reduced – actually strengthening the immune system.
Deepak Chopra – Laughter is definitely a healing experience, and we’re not talking metaphorically, we’re speaking absolutely literally. Laughter is one of the best medicines you can have.
According to University of California, Irvine Professor Lee Berk, “If we took what we know about the medical benefits of laughter and bottled it up, it would require FDA approval. Laughter can lower blood pressure, trigger a flood of endorphins – the brain chemicals that can bring on euphoria and decrease pain, and enhances our immune systems. Gamma-interferon, a disease-fighting protein, rises with laughter. So do B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies, and T-cells, which orchestrate our body’s immune response. Laughter lowers the flow of stress hormones, which suppress the immune system, raise blood pressure, and increase the number of platelets, which cause clots and potentially fatal coronary artery blockages.”
According to William F. Fry, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Stanford University, laughing 100-200 times per day is the cardiovascular equivalent of rowing for 10 minutes. When something strikes you as funny, you laugh. And when you laugh, your body responds. You flex, then relax, 15 facial muscles plus dozens of others all over your body. Your pulse and respiration increase briefly, oxygenating your blood. And your brain experiences a decrease in pain perception, possibly associated with the production of pain-killing, pleasure-giving endorphins.
“When I get stuck in traffic I play the ‘Laugh It Off’ CD laugh track. I found it to be the cure for road rage. It also helps our youth as the CD is a fundraising product for Hey U.G.L.Y., the nonprofit organization that helps teens counter challenges such as eating disorders, bullying, violence, substance abuse and suicide.”
“It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time.”
According to Jeffrey Briar, laugh instructor at California’s Blue Pearl Yoga, those who take the [laugh] class regularly will see an improvement in their self-confidence.
According to Steve Wilson, physiologist, joyologist and founder of the world laughter tour and a board member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, when you look at all the research on laughter, it strongly leads us to the conclusion that one of the main purposes of laughter is the discharge of tension. Laughter also energizes people. If you laugh long enough and hard enough you reverse the physiology of stress. And anything that can reduce the ill-effects of stress is an ally in health and happiness.
According to an article by Kathleen Doheny on WebMD, Laughter is being called the latest weapon in the fight against heart disease, ever since University of Maryland researchers reported at an American Heart Association meeting in November that heart-healthy people are more likely than those with heart disease to laugh frequently and heartily, and to use humor to smooth over awkward situations. There’s even hope, the scientists say, for cranky people who rarely laugh and for those without a sense of humor: They can learn.
In their best-selling book, “The Okinawa Program,” based on an ongoing study of elderly people on the Japanese island of Okinawa, Dr. Bradley J. Wilcox, Dr. Craig Wilcox, and Dr. Makoto Suzuki wrote that “during laughter, muscles throughout your body tense and relax in a way that is strikingly similar to stress-reduction techniques. Laughter keeps muscles supple as well as relaxed. It also has been shown to stimulate the immune system.”
The late author Norman Cousins credited laughter with helping him beat a potentially fatal connective tissue disease. After his diagnosis, Cousins moved into a hotel room, watched funny videos and movies, read funny books and magazines–and staged a stunning recovery. He said laughing is inner jogging.