Laugh a Little, Live a Little- The healthy benefits of Laughter

What’s so funny about your epiglottis constricting your larynx?

So what if your ab muscles tense up? That’s supposed to be funny!?

What really Happens In your Body When you’re so full of Joy your mouth hurts?
Let’s take a good look at the physiology of laughter.

Endorphins are released into the body when we laugh, and these endorphins allow us to better handle pain, stress, and emotionally rough patches. Now who couldn’t use some of those neurotransmitters!? They allow us to feel pleasure and even help us to relieve depression, and that’s a heck of alot to be joyful about! What’s life without the lightness of laughter? In fact, life becomes all the more enjoyable when you are able to lighten up enough to laugh at yourself, right?!

Research shows that laughter really is the best medicine

•    We often laugh because we’re happy, but laughing can also trigger happiness, and health! Researchers at the University College of London have shown that listening to the sound of laughter triggers a response in our pre-motor cortical region, which prepares the facial muscles to instinctively smile.
•    Studies have shown that laughter boosts the immune system in variety of ways by increasing the amount of T cells, which attack viruses, foreign cells, cancer cells. While laughing, gamma interferon, a disease fighting protein, is also released.
•    Laughter is a very complex physical process that provides a full body workout. Some researchers estimate that laughing 100 times provides as much of a workout as 15 minutes on an exercise bike
•    A study conducted by University of Maryland researchers reported that 19/20 people showed increased blood flow in the Brachial artery after watching humorous movie clips, indicating that laughter even improves heart health.

Laughter Yoga, ‘Hasyayoga’ is a form of yoga, which employs self-triggered Laughter. This practice combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing. The concept of this science is based on the fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter and so one derives the same physiological and psychological health benefits from its practice.

Unlike other sciences that treat individual symptoms, Holistic Healing and Naturopathic Medicine takes a look at the entire system and the root causes of disease. As a Naturopath, I investigate nutrition, exercise, lifestyle choices, environmental factors, biological inheritances and stress management techniques. Instead of treating superficial symptoms with drugs or chemicals, we focus on the bounty that exists in nature to heal us from the inside-out. Laughter is one of the most important parts of this natural realm of healing – and frankly, it’s the most fun to prescribe!

Desiree Abecassis runs a Naturopathic practice in Montreal, Canada. She is a Certified Naturopath and Homeopath who possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, a 4-year certification in Naturopathic Medicine, and training in Ayurvedic medicine, Holistic Nutrition and healthy eating. Desiree has been in the field of Natural Medicine for over 9 years, is passionate about her work and can be found laughing with her clients during each consultation!

Research Sources:
•    http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/other-emotions/laughter1.htm
•    http://www.angelfire.com/ak2/akaushik/The_best_medicine.htm
•    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212213922.htm
•    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050310100458.htm

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