Laughter, it’s hard to beat for medicinal purposes as it comes with only positive effects for the human body.
Research within the scholarly field demonstrates that laughter is known to:
• Boost our immune system by increasing our white blood cells;
• Expand the inner walls of our arteries which increases the flow of blood to flow and decreases the risk of heart disease and blood pressure;
• Reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine while increasing the production of serotonin and endorphins (the natural anti-depressants);
• Be a natural painkiller enabling more pain tolerance;
• Massage the abdominal organs (with big belly laughs);
• Lowers blood sugar levels;
• Exercises 15 facial muscles increasing the blood flow to the face which aids cell renewal;
• Forces air out of our lungs and increases oxygen supplies through our bodies;
• Makes our minds clearer and more productive;
• Induces better sleep quality;
• Release oxytocin (the empathy hormone) which creates bonding of individuals; and
• Be contagious as listening to others laughs lifts moods
Research at Stanford University found 30 seconds of deep belly laughter is equivalent to 10 minutes of strenuous rowing in psychological and physical benefits to the body.
So let’s laugh long and often, it’s good for us! Children on average laugh 400 times a day whereas adults over 35 laugh just 15 times a day. It is also known that even forced laughter has the same effect on our bodies as true laughter. So enjoy this privilege that only the human race has the ability to do.
- This article was written by an Interchange Australia Consultant Debra Burford. Interchange Australia provides a wide range of services for people with disability, older people and families with a child with autism. Details: Interchange Australia’s services, www.interchangeau.org, www.facebook.com/interchangeau or phone 1300 112 334.