Physical Benefits Of Laughter


Its been a long stressful 12 hour day for you and your associates.  Suddenly, without warning it happens, spread by human contact, it effects all those around you moving from person to person.  You began to feel shortness of breath, you gasp for air.  The harder you try, the more uncontrollable it becomes and you succumb to it, allowing it to take over.  Tears roll out of your eyes, people are holding their bellies, some bury their faces into their hands.  Loud laughter erupts in the room.

Laughter is your bodies natural defense against stress.  Chances are uncontrollable laughter has happened to you or you have witnessed it happen.  We see examples of this every so often when a news anchor person break down and his associates have to finish the broadcast without them.

Laughter plays a vital role in our physical health.  Laughter makes you feel good and the benefits of laughter last hours after the laugh subsides.  Physically laughter will help boosts your immunity, it lowers stress hormones, relaxes your muscles, decreases pain and helps prevent heart disease.

Dr. Michael Miller cardiologist, researcher of the University of Maryland, says that stress over time effects our blood vessels which eventual leads to hardening of the arteries.   Dr. Miller’s theory, is stress and positive emotions such as laughter works as opposites.  Stress tightens our arteries while laughter opens them.

A man name Norman Cousins knew the healing benefits of laughter.  Norman was a remarkable statesman in his time.  He worked with President Kennedy and helped negotiate the Nuclear Test Ban.  Norman Cousins was so important in his day that he could pick up a phone and speak to the pope.

This stressful work took a heavy toll on his body and he developed ankylosing spondylitis.  A painful chronic inflammatory disease that effects the joints and connective tissues of the body.  He was told he had little chance of surviving this deteriorating disease.

Having received the grim diagnosis, Normand Cousins developed his own recovery program.  He incorporated high doses of vitamin C along with a positive attitude consisting of love, faith, hope and laughter.

Using films made by the Marx Brothers and Allen Hunt’s TV show Candid Camera, Normand discovered that after 10 minutes of belle laughter he could get 30 minutes of pain-free sleep.  After 3 months Normand Cousins believed he was a cured man.  Norman continued to live another 26 years without any other painful episodes from this disease.

Even though decades have passed since Normand Cousins wrote the book called,, “ Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing,” researchers are now taking the medicable benefits of laughter seriously.

Doctor Mandan Katari was a world-famous family doctor.  He stopped practicing medicine to practice laughter because he believed it might be more beneficial.

As Dr. Mandan Katari says, “I stopped practicing as a medical doctor because I found that laughter is much more healing than traditional medicine.”

Many people know him as The Doctor of Laughter or the Guru of Giggles. I have included a video which explains Dr. Katari’s work and how he discovered the benefits of laughter.

 We need to be proactive in our therapy to counteract stress in our lives.  So if you believe laughter is the best medicine then laugh as if you life depends on it.

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