Is Laughter Good Medicine?
Nearly every study on the connection between laughter and health has shown at least some positive results, according to an exhaustive study of the medical literature published in Canadian Family Physician. Laughter is a documented remedy for stress relief, but researchers are also exploring some other unexpected effects. For example, laughter may:
• Boost immunity. Some studies have shown that using humor may boost the body’s levels of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells.
• Increase blood flow. In a University of Maryland study, participants who watched movie clips of comedies experienced widening of their blood vessels and increased blood flow.
• Reduce pain. Several studies have found that when people laugh, physical pain doesn’t bother them as much. In one small study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, participants’ response to discomfort was measured after they listened to a comical, relaxing or dull 20-minute audio. Those who listened to the funny audio had a higher pain threshold.
FYI: Not all experts are convinced by such results and only more research will confirm laughter’s health benefits. In the meantime? LOL when you can.