Another study by Laughter Experts Dr. Lee S. Berk, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunology researcher at Loma Linda University’s Schools of Allied Health (SAHP) and Medicine, and director of the molecular research lab at SAHP, Loma Linda, CA, and Dr. Stanley Tan have found that those who laughed while watching a comedy increased the dilation of blood vessels by one-fifth and this benefit lasted for up to 24 hours. This is great news for anyone at risk for heart disease. When blood vessels are constricted, or blocked, this causes damage to your heart. Now you can keep your blood vessels open and flowing with laughter instead of taking a pill – How cool is that? The study also showed that when participants watched a serious documentary, the arteries actually constricted by 18%. Yikes! The team recently completed this new study, which was presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, CA. April 24-28, 2010. In earlier studies, the team found that even the anticipation of laughter resulted in a boost of endorphins and human growth hormone, which in turn can lower blood pressure and boost immunity.
I absolutely LOVE to give laughing meditation workshops. Participants have cleared their sinuses, lowered blood pressure, slept better, and the list goes on. The many health benefits have been well documented and new studies continue to prove that “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter releases endorphins (feel good hormones) into the body, reduces the levels of stress hormones, and boosts immunity by increasing the levels of human growth hormone.
Norman Cousin’s account of people curing his own life-threatening illness through laughter (“Anatomy Of An Illness “) is a fascinating read. Cousins watched old Marx Brothers movies day on end and laughed himself well. I’ve seen those old movies and they are very funny – also a bit risqué. They were filmed before the days of censoring.
I recommend the following steps for improving your health while having fun at the same time:
Take a few minutes of your lunch break to read funny jokes and stories.
In the evening before bed, instead of watching the news which often raises blood pressure, watch a few minutes of comedy central, or a comedy show that you’ve Tivo’d.
Try some Laughter Yoga or a Laughing Meditation session with the whole family as a week-end activity. Many retreat centers, Yoga studios and health centers offer these workshops and classes.
Just keep on laughing and you’ll enjoy years of good health!
Best of Health,