“Laughology” – Laugh Your Way Into Shape!
A study conducted by the Loma Linda University in California indicated that the reduced production of hormonal neuroendocrine provided positive health benefits specifically related to the cardiovascular system. The study also concluded that there was an additional “anticipatory response” - in other words, an anticipation of a humorous event also contributed to the overall health benefit by further reducing neuroendocrine.
For those who have a hard time digesting lots of technical jargon let’s try a simplified “mental/spiritual” approach. Overall fitness is comprised of four basic components (physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental). Since one’s fitness level is directly related to one’s quality of life, it would make perfect sense that a happy person would receive positive health benefits. Some religious groups refer to the positive mental/spiritual phenomena as “karma”; athletes call it the “being in the zone”; joggers enjoy the “runners high” and everyday folk speak of “euphoria”. Regardless of the name, an individual’s improved mental condition has been shown to enhance their human performance.
Further studies have been demonstrated on medical control groups in which “placebos” (inert, non-pharmaceutical substances) were given to patients suffering from either diseases or psychological disorders. Simply changing their mental state - changing their belief system to make them think they were taking real medicine to cure their personal medical problem, cured many patients.
Still other studies conducted by the American Heart Association have reported that depression is a major contributor to heart disease. These studies concluded that while depression may not directly cause heart disease, it was a significant factor particularly in amplifying the effects of atherosclerosis (the build-up of LDL cholesterol on the walls of the arteries). An increase in LDL cholesterol narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow.
I must point out that it’s hard to be depressed when you’re laughing on a regular basis! My friends, the message is very clear: improve your sense of humor and improve your quality of life - be happy to be healthy. Laughter is a great form of medicine. Best of all, it’s free! One more final point: a person who learns to laugh at himself or herself will never cease to be amused. So laugh yourself into great shape!!!
Michael Lenk is the Owner and Director of Daddy’s Back Yard where he trains his prize pupil (and daughter) Crystal to have fun, develop skills and to “get up and move!” When not outdoors playing, Mike can be found in the Engineering Department of the Delaware Technical & Community College.