Showing posts with label Laughter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laughter. Show all posts

Oct 21, 2016

Laughter and Exercise

According to researchers at Georgia State University, forced laughter incorporated into an exercise program increases the health benefits and makes older adults more likely to exercise more. Simulated laughter techniques added to a strength, balance, and flexibility workout improved older adults' performance in an exercise program and significantly improved their enjoyment.
Laughter has physical benefits, and in many cases has an effect on the muscles used during exercise programs. Forced laughter, or choosing to laugh, rather than as a response to something funny gave way to actual laughter and enjoyment for most participants in classes with laughing incorporated into physical exercises.


Laughter is an enjoyable activity and has many health benefits. In a recent study, participants experienced improvement in mental health, aerobic endurance, and outcome expectation for exercise, with 96.2 percent of participants saying laughter made exercise more enjoyable, 88.9 percent saying it made exercise more accessible and 89.9 percent saying it would motivate them to participate in more exercise classes or activities. We all need a good laugh for better mental health and to clear out the cobwebs of our mind.

Mar 25, 2016

Benefits of Laughter

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, dopamine, and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
 
A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
 
Laughter provides distraction and brings focus away from anger, guilt, stress, and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other distractions.
 
Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a 'threat' or a 'challenge'. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as 'challenges', thereby making them less threatening and more positive.
 
Laughter connects us with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, most people find that laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them.

Jun 12, 2015

Six Benefits of Laughter

Laughter increases a sense of well being and doctors find that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than negative people. Laugh a little or laugh a lot, it is all good.

1. Laughing lowers blood pressure, which reduces risk of strokes and heart attacks.
2. It reduces stress hormone levels and cuts the anxiety and stress impacting your body.
3. It tones your abs by expanding and contracting stomach muscles.
4. It improves cardiac health and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.
5. It boosts T cells to help you fight off sickness.
6. Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.

May 30, 2014

Laughter Studies

We all know laughing is good for you, and now, here are some studies that prove it. Laughing in the face of tragedy seems to shield a person from its effects. A 2013 review of studies found that among elderly patients, laughter significantly alleviated the symptoms of depression. Another study, published early this year, found that firefighters who used humor as a coping strategy were somewhat protected from PTSD. Laughing also seems to ease more-quotidian anxieties. One group of researchers found that watching an episode of Friends was as effective at improving a person’s mood as listening to music or exercising, and more effective than resting.

Laughter even seems to have a buffering effect against physical pain. A 2012 study found that subjects who were shown a funny video displayed higher pain thresholds than those who saw a serious documentary. In another study, postsurgical patients requested less pain medication after watching a funny movie.

Other literature identifies even more specific health benefits: laughing reduced arterial-wall stiffness, which is associated with cardiovascular disease. Women undergoing in-vitro fertilization were sixteen percent more likely to get pregnant when entertained by a clown. A clown improved lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A study of Norwegians found that having a sense of humor correlated with a high probability of surviving into retirement. Not new news, but always good to get reinforcement.
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Jan 10, 2014

Ten Different Types of Laughter

Laughter is a social structure, something that connects humans with one another in a profound way. People are about thirty percent more likely to laugh in a social setting that warrants it than when alone with humorous media. In other words, you are more likely to laugh with friends while watching a comedy together than when you are watching the same show by yourself. About 90 percent of our laughter is related to jokes or humor.

Belly Laughter - Belly laughter is considered the most honest type of laughter and it the type where the whole body shakes and you gasp for air. Men are more likely to grunt or snort at something they find funny, while women let loose with giggles and chuckles.

Canned Laughter - Canned laughter is another term for "laugh track." It is real laughter taken completely out of one context and placed in another, such as from a real studio audience to a filmed movie. Canned laughter over a soundtrack to programming increases the chance of an audience finding humor in the material.

Contagious Laughter - Imagine you are out for dinner with a group of friends and someone tells a joke and gets one person laughing, which gets a second person laughing, and so on. Contagious laughter raises the possibility that humans have laugh detectors. People are made to respond with laughter on hearing laughter itself, much like the mystery of spreading a yawn. If it spreads too far, it is called mass hysteria.

Cruel Laughter - Cruel laughter has been around for a long time. In the late Middle Ages, for instance, there's record of residents buying a condemned criminal from a different town just so they could enjoy quartering him themselves. Slapstick comedy often induces cruel laughter.

Etiquette Laughter - People rely on laughter to get along with others, so whether we are with a boss or friends, we tend to laugh at things they say or do, to be polite. Laughter could have developed in our ancestors before full speech, so the sound is merely a way to communicate and show agreement.

Nervous Laughter - During times of anxiety, we often laugh in a subconscious attempt to calm down. However, nervous laughter usually just heightens the awkwardness of the situation.

Pigeon Laughter - Pigeon laughter, which is often practiced in laughter therapy or laughter yoga, involves laughing without opening your mouth. By keeping your lips sealed, the laughter produces a humming sound, much like the noises a pigeon makes.

Silent Laughter - Silent laughter can have real benefits, because it involves the same type of deep breathing that comes with belly laughter. One woman who worked as a clown in a children's hospital explained that teaching sick children the art of silent laughter enabled them to go back to sleep after waking up from a bad dream. This type of laughter is also practiced in laughter yoga and laughter therapy, where it is often called joker's laughter.

Stress-relieving Laughter - Stress is an important reasons to find something humorous and laughter is a sure cure for stress. Stress builds tension in the human body, and that tension has to go somewhere. Stress-relieving laughter can take many forms, but it is usually found in an outburst, much like belly laughing.

Snorting Laughter - About twenty five percent of women and thirty three percent of men laugh through the nose. This is the kind where you might blow milk out your nose when surprised with a humorous situation. A person might either blow air out or suck it in through the nose when laughing. A well told joke often induces me to experience a few different types of laughter in one bout.

Jan 1, 2014

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Proverbs 17:22, "a merrie heart doth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones," has transformed into the popular saying, "Laughter is the best medicine."

More About Laughter

Here is more good news to smile about this year. A recent study found that groups that either watched or participated in comedy felt less pain than their peers, who watched a documentary. People who laughed more had an even higher pain threshold than those who only had a few giggles. Chuckling with others also increased laughter's positive impact. People are 30 times more likely to laugh in a group than alone.

Laughing triggers endorphins, neurotransmitters produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which spark a feeling of comfort similar to what occurs when someone takes an opiate. Love, excitement, spicy foods, orgasms, exercise, and pain all cause the brain to produce endorphins, which also provide an analgesic effect.

Wordology, Duchenne Smile

While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne (de Boulogne) identified two distinct types of smiles. The eponymous Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle, which raises the corners of the mouth and the orbicularis oculi muscle, which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes.

A non-Duchenne, or politician smile involves only the zygomatic major muscle. Research with adults initially indicated that joy was indexed by generic smiling, involving just the raising of the lip corners by the zygomatic major. More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.

There are also two types of laughter, Duchenne and non-Duchenne. Duchenne laughter is the type of natural chuckle that people experience when they see or hear something funny, which is often contagious. This giggling involves the contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscle and adds more pain relief than non-Duchenne laughter, which is emotionless and context-driven. Duchenne laughter might be so effective because it involves muscle activity much like exercise, which releases endorphins. The capacity to sustain laughter for periods of several minutes at a time may exaggerate the opioid effects.

May 14, 2013

More About Laughter

Every time someone laughs around us, our brains must interpret what it means. As German scientists have discovered, it is more complex than we thought.

A joyful belly laugh is interpreted by the brain in a completely different way from a scornful titter or the giggle from someone being tickled, a group of scientists from Tübingen in south west Germany have found.

In experiments designed to help patients with chronic anxiety disorders, they found that positive non-verbal communication, such as a joyful laugh was processed by a different part of the brain from a negative, scornful snicker.

Laughing is one of the oldest forms of non-verbal communication and is also seen in rats and apes. It could be key to helping patients with psychiatric disorders, who often are unable to correctly interpret non-verbal communication.

Humans have developed several different forms of laughter, each of which can have a complex series of meanings and intentions behind them. “Laughing is a very strong signal in social interaction. If you are laughed at with joy you feel accepted. If you are the victim of scornful laughter, you feel shut out of the group,“ said Dr. Dirk Wildgruber.

In their experiments, Wildgruber and his team played various types of recorded laughter and measured how the sounds were interpreted in the brain. They found that giggles generated when someone is being tickled stimulates areas of the brain responsible for interpreting complex acoustic signals. Happy or scornful laughter, on the other hand, stimulates completely separate brain regions usually tasked with guessing the intentions of others. From there, the laughter kick-starts connections with different parts of the brain depending on the tone - negative or positive.

The next step will be to look into how people with psychological disturbances react to different laughter signals to find out which areas of the brain could be artificially stimulated to help them, said Wildgruber.

Feb 15, 2013

Laughter is Natural

Laughing is extremely difficult to control consciously. Most people cannot laugh on command.

Laughter almost always occurs during pauses at the end of phrases. It requires the coordination of many muscles throughout the body. A good hardy laugh is like a full body workout. It gives your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles a workout.

If you want an easy way to trim a few pounds, watch a funny movie or share a good joke with friends. If you need some new material, try some of my humor books.

Here is another good way to burn calories. When you kiss someone for a minute, you both burn about 2.6 calories. According to that math, that is about 156 calories an hour. I am available for testing the theory.

Sep 9, 2011

Laughter and Chocolate

We have all heard that laughter is good for the heart and recently there have been studies that dark chocolate is good for you. These two facts have been confirmed again.
more than 300 measurements were made with a 30-50% difference in blood vessel diameter between the laughter (blood vessel expansion) and mental stress (blood vessel constriction) phases. “The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium after laughing was consistent and similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic exercise or statin use” “The endothelium is the first line in the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, so it is very possible that laughing on a regular basis may be useful to incorporate as part of an overall healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease

the second team of researchers, from the University of Cambridge, may add chocolate to that list, as well. Of course, we’ve long known that dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and boasts numerous health benefits, including the ability to help lower blood pressure and even cause a significant increase in insulin sensitivity. But these researchers have an added perk to throw on the laundry list of health benefits -- after conducting a large-scale review on recent evidence (the results were published in the British Medical Journal), these scientists found that regular chocolate consumption (they didn’t differentiate between dark or milk) can slash cardiovascular risk by a third.

That proves it, if you want a healthy heart, start with a good hardy laugh and have chocolate for desert.

Apr 1, 2011

Laughter

What a better way to start April Fools day than with a discussion of laughter. It's true - laughter has many healthy benefits for us and that's no joke. For instance, Laughing for just 15 minutes a day burns enough calories to lose up to 5lbs of fat over a year. A big belly laugh uses about the same energy as walking more than half a mile, according to the US study in the International Journal of Obesity.

Laughing makes the heart beat faster and works many different muscles.

Researchers measured the number of calories expended by 45 adults as they watched different TV programs, including nature and comedy shows. Bouts of laughter when watching a funny show used up to 20% more energy than at rest.

Work already suggests that laughter is good for the heart and immune system, and appears to help ease pain. Dr Shevach Friedler, even found humor increased the chance that fertility treatment would be a success in patients seeking IVF. He said, "Laughter has a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. It is an intuitive human trait. We do not learn it. It's in our genes. If we retain this in our genes then probably it has beneficial effects." OK, go play a prank today and have a good belly laugh, it is good for your heart and soul. Be careful about that fertility thing. .

Mar 26, 2011

Laughter as Medicine

The old adage "laughter is the best medicine" has proved its worth among children coping with pain, according medical experts in the US, who found laughter helped children relax, which had a major impact on how they dealt with and accepted pain.

They believe the healing power of humor can reduce pain and stimulate immune function in children with cancer, Aids, or diabetes and in children receiving organ transplants and bone marrow treatments. Their study reinforces practices adopted by UK hospitals, where laughter is used as a tool to make hospital wards a friendlier place.

Dr Margaret Stuber, who led the US research, said, "We think laughter could be used to help children who are undergoing painful procedures or who suffer from pain-expectation anxiety. In the future, patients watching humorous videos could become a standard component of some medical procedures."

They asked 21 children aged eight to 14 to put their hand into cold water and found the whole group tolerated the temperature longer while watching a funny video.

Those who laughed most remembered less of the pain and hormone tests on their saliva showed their stress levels were lower after laughing.

Dr Stuber said: "Rx Laughter's goal is to ease ill children through some of these medical procedures and minimize the traumatic effects that children experience. The US study, Rx Laughter, is a collaboration between the entertainment industry, pediatrics, and psychiatry.

"In some instances laughter may even reduce the amount of anesthesia necessary."

Distraction therapy

Hospitals in the UK have recognized the power of laughter and some use "clown doctors" to go into children's wards and inject a bit of fun. The team of 10 clown doctors visit about 30,000 children and their families every year at hospitals in London, Manchester and Cambridge.

Humorous videos, especially cartoons, are already used in anesthetic rooms at Manchester Children's Hospital. They have found the videos help the children relax before going into the operating room. Go ahead and have a great laugh today. it's good for you.
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Oct 1, 2010

Gelotology

Gelotology is the study of humor and laughter, and its effects on the human body. It is also the psychological and physiological study of laughter. The word is from the Greek gelos, geloto meaning laugh, laughter.

A group of scientists at the University of California medical school say they have found the part of the brain that controls laughter. All of us are born with the physical and neurological apparatus for laughing, and we will do it without being taught how, starting at about 4 weeks of age.

Research has led to new and beneficial therapies practiced by doctors, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals using humor and laughter to help patients cope or treat a variety of physical and psychological issues. There seems to be something to the old saying "laughter is the best medicine." As Voltaire said, "The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease."

-   Humor Therapy: It is also known as therapeutic humor. Using humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients' own humorous experiences.

-    Laughter Therapy: Clients' laughter triggers are identified such as people in their lives, things from childhood, situations, movies, jokes, comedians, etc. that make them laugh.

-    Laughter Meditation: In laughter meditation there are some similarities to traditional meditation. However, it is the laughter that focuses the person to concentrate on the moment. Through a three stage process of stretching, laughing and/or crying, and a period of meditative silence.

-    Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs: Somewhat similar to traditional yoga, laughter yoga is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, and stretching techniques, along with laughter. Maybe they should just read some of my books.

Sep 23, 2009

Laughter is Truly the Best Medicine

And it's free. Research is ongoing regarding the potential health benefits of laughter. Still to be proven is if the sense of humor and positive attitude behind laughter are also helpful.

When we laugh, we increase our pulse rate and blood pressure, and the effects may be similar to exercise. Researchers have estimated that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns 50 calories. Other studies suggest laughter improves blood flow, immune responses, and blood sugar levels.

Research looking at the connection between mind and body suggests that repeated doses of laughter, and even anticipation of laughter, can lead to positive physical changes.

In a paper presented at the American Physiological Society, they found that the hormones beta-endorphins (which elevate mood) and human growth hormone (which builds immunity) increased by 27% and 87 % respectively in patients exposed to "mirthful laughter."

Another study found that laughter reduced three key stress hormones; cortisol, epinephrine, and dopac -- by 38 percent to 70 percent. Significantly high levels of those three hormones have long been linked to compromised immune systems.

Laughter promotes all kinds of good endorphins, which help reduce pains and promotes deep breathing.

In another study, they found that the same anticipation of mirthful laughter reduced the levels of three detrimental stress hormones. Cortisol, adrenaline, and dopac, were reduced 39, 70, and 38%, respectively.

A group of 20 high-risk diabetic patients with hypertension and hyperlipidemia were divided into two groups: Group C (control) and Group L (laughter). Both groups were started on standard medications for diabetes and Group L viewed self-selected humor for 30 minutes in addition to the standard therapies.

The patients in the laughter group had lower epinephrine and norepinephrine levels by the second month, suggesting lower stress levels. They also increased HDL (good) cholesterol and had lower levels of inflammation.

At the end of one year, the laughter group HDL cholesterol had risen by 26 percent, and only 3 percent in the Group Control. Harmful C-reactive proteins decreased 66% in the laughter group vs. 26% for the control group.

Take these in small doses, but not in the office - Link 1  Link 2  Link 3

The study suggests that the addition of an adjunct therapeutic laughter prescription to standard diabetes care may lower stress and inflammatory response and increase "good" cholesterol levels. The authors conclude that laughter may thus lower the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. Hey, if you want some good laughs and to get fit at the same time, try some of my joke books, especially 'Medical Humor - medical nonsense to tickle your funnybone'. Don't forget to use the 'search inside' feature to get a detail look at the contents.

Apr 25, 2009

Something to Laugh About

In a 2007 study, allergy researcher Hajime Kimata of Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Japan measured levels of the hormone melatonin in the breast milk of nursing mothers before and after the subjects watched either a comic Charlie Chaplin video or an ordinary weather report.

Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is often disturbed in the allergic skin condition atopic eczema, which all of the 48 babies in the study had.

Kimata found that laughing at the funny film, but not hearing the weather report, increased the amount of melatonin in the mothers’ milk. In addition, the laughter-fortified breast milk reduced the allergic responses to latex and house dust mites in the infants. Thus, making a nursing mom laugh might sometimes serve as an allergy remedy for her baby. Laughter is even more important this month, because April is Humor month.