From Mrs. Cog's Corner

"The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease." - Voltaire

"A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast." - Groucho Marx

There is nothing quite like laughing. For a moment, close your eyes and think about how you felt during and just after you laughed so hard there were tears on your cheeks, or even a good old fashioned belly laugh. A certain refreshing energy from laughter can leave you "recharged" and there is a reason why.

Physically, laughter increases your oxygen intake, boosts your heart rate and circulation, and cues the brain to release endorphins. This triggers a reduction in stress, muscle relaxation and a boost to one's immunity system according to the Mayo Clinic.

Laughing actually reduces pain. The process of a good hardy laugh helps the pituitary gland to release hormones that act like an opiate on your system. The effects can last for a while. These endorphins actually increase tolerance to pain. Tests have shown laughter to be efficacious in post operative patients, those that suffer from arthritis and in many more instances.

But just as important in these trying times of change, laughter can aid us to attain focus. Through relaxing and releasing stress by laughing, we are better able to put circumstances into perspective and more accurately gauge the proximity of danger so we can be more realistic in our assessment.

Laughter is therapy.

Laughter is contagious. The people in this video were simply reacting to a man who was laughing and couldn't help themselves.

Per Ivy League Grad Schools - Laughter is Serious Business.

Seriously... who can resist the "serious" baby?

Read more:

 ...laughter helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates.

Laughter, scientists have discovered, can do as much good for your body as going for a run. Volunteers who watched 20 minutes of comedies and stand-up routines experienced a dramatic drop in stress hormones, blood pressure and cholesterol. Their appetite was also stimulated just as it is with exercise.

What may surprise you even more is the fact that researchers estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Laughing can be a total body workout! Blood pressure is lowered, and there is an increase in vascular blood flow and in oxygenation of the blood, which further assists healing. Laughter also gives your diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles a workout. That's why you often feel exhausted after a long bout of laughter -- you've just had an aerobic workout!

“If you can laugh at it, you can survive it.” And as research on the subject grows, it is becoming more evident that laughing can make us healthier physically as well as mentally.

But Beware...

According to a New York Times piece published last year just before the holidays, a British medical journal forewarns there are "many harmful effects wrought by laughter."

3 thoughts on “Laughter”

  1. Hi, All:

    This excellent article twigged my memory of another classic on this subject: Norman Cousin’s book about his own personal journey of healing with laughter: ‘Anatomy of an Illness’ . . . which led me to a web search this AM that turned up this most interesting website: http://www.joeyguse,com.

    Mr. Guse was a comedian on the Chicago club circuit who noticed the healing energies of humor, laughter and self-humility – and decided, after a round of performing his comedy routines at nursing homes to great success, to change his career from entertainer to (wait for it) – Psychologist!.

    His website is full of very interesting observations about what humor does for well-being, how it works and some intriguing informational tid-bits that unintentionally address some recent health-focused events such as the passing of beloved comedian Robin Williams (drug/alcohol issues) including an interesting video talk about two other comedians who unsuccessfully wrestled with drug abuse; and even, in his article about Norman Cousins’ experiences (, the value of mega-doses of Vitamin C for treating Cousins’ condition. The recent ‘yes/no’ argument about the use of Vitamin C for combating the scurvy-like effects of ebola made this a synchronously interesting discovery.

    All in all, a most informational read for this foggy, drizzly AM in drought/heat-ridden CA. (That’s a joke, ok? :) So – do keep laughing – otherwise, we’d all be in sad shape, since Life is NEVER dull or boring – especially these days.

    Thanks for this, Mrs. C.
    :) LionLady

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