In part 2 of Laughter and your body, we explore a further 5 physiological benefits of how laughter makes it “great medicine”.
- Improves breathing (respiration) and blood circulation. Under normal conditions a small amount of air stays in your lungs which carries more carbon dioxide and moisture. Laughing forces you to expel all the air in your lungs getting rid of excess carbon dioxide and moisture. It also loosens up and helps you expel mucus and phlegm.
- 10 minutes of laughter can result in two hours of pain relief. This occurs it releases two neuropeptides endorphins and enkephalins – the bodies’ natural pain-suppressing opioids.  The Tasmanian Arthritis Foundation has incorporated laughter into its support groups.
- Lowers blood pressure. Ten minutes of laughter therapy reduces blood pressure by 10-20 mm.
- A good massage for your organs. Laughter has been likened to internal jogging – it gives your organs a good rub around.
- Happiness, laughter and love of friends are as important to protecting us from heart disease as keeping cholesterol under control and taking an aspirin. A researcher at the University of Maryland, Michael Miller, recommends at least 15 minutes of hearty laughter a day to ward of heart attack. 15 minutes of it relaxes arteries and raises blood flow for up to 45 minutes – comparable with aerobic exercise.
“The more I laugh as an exercise, the more laughter creeps back into the rest of my life. It’s like you’ve tuned the engine. It’s quite powerful; you can laugh more than you think you can. And when you do, you’ll feel good.”
– Tim Scally, comedian and laughter leader. Tweet that!
- Kataria, D.M.,Laugh for No Reason. 2002, Mumbai: Madhuri International.
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