“The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.”
Laughter may be the best medicine. It can boost your immune system and reduce stress, according to US researchers at the University of California-Irvine. Laughter increases production of antibodies and activates body’s protective cells.
Laughter is One of the Best Natural Cancer Treatments of All
Laughter has also been found to fight against cancer by increasing the levels of IFN (Interferon-gamma) in the body. IFN stimulates the B-cells, T-cells, NK cells, and immunoglobulin, and it also works to regulate cell growth. These compounds are vital to a healthy immune system. They help protect against cancer and the abnormal growth of cancerous tumors in the body.
Norman Cousins first presented the idea that laughter can benefit a person’s health in the 1970s. He published his personal research results in the New England Journal of Medicine and is considered one of the original architects of mind-body medicine. In 1964 after a very stressful trip to Russia, he became very sick and was quickly diagnosed with a fatal illness and given at best 6 months to live. He reasoned that if stress had made him sick, surely the opposite emotions would make him feel better.
After several years of continuous laughter therapy, Cousins experienced little to no pain in day-to-day living. Though he used Vitamin C to physically repair immune system, he relied on the often overlooked medication of laughter to mentally cure his condition and live to the age of 75.
Health Benefits Of Laughing
- Laughing boosts the immune system. According to research, (here) laughing strengthens your immune system and reduces inflammation in the body. Laughing releases endorphins by sending signals to the brain similar to exercising. Endorphins are truly the body’s natural painkillers.
- Laughing helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. According to a study conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, laughing may help reduce your risk of heart disease the same way exercising does.
- Laughing lowers you blood pressure. Since stress contributes to high blood pressure, laughter works oppositely. It reduces stress hormones, thus lowering the amount of oxidation in the blood vessels.
According to many studies, laughter also helps to:
- Enhance oxygen intake
- Stimulate the heart and lungs
- Relax muscles throughout the body
- Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
- Ease digestion/soothes stomach aches
- Relieve pain
- Improve mental functions
Throughout centuries, laughter was prescribed as a cure and a way of recovery from surgeries. One of the French surgeons, Henri de Mondeville, applied laughter to speed up the recovery process. He wrote: “Let the surgeon take care to regulate the whole regimen of the patient’s life for joy and happiness, allowing his relatives and special friends to cheer him and by having someone tell him jokes.” So keep smiling! “A cheerful heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit makes one sick.” Proverbs 17:22
Loma Linda University’s Schools of Allied Health (SAHP) and Medicine