Laughter: The Best Medicine?

Laughter: The Best Medicine?

“Laughter is the best medicine,” they say, and it is definitely one of the best ways for how to cure mood swings naturally. Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, reported that watching the Marx brothers alleviated his pain. He also asserts that this daily dose of laughter was one of the reasons his body was able to heal from the rare, debilitating condition from which doctors were convinced he would never recover (Cousins did, by the way).

Flipping through the latest Parks and Rec course catalog from my city, I found a class entitled “Yoga Laughter,” or something to that effect. I’m guessing it teaches people to laugh deeply and often. There is a medical doctor in India who gathers people in his village every morning for the purpose of starting the day with a big dose of laughter.

Why? Does laughing really improve your health so much?

Laughter: The Best Medicine?

Read the following health benefits of laughter, and tell me whether or not you believe laughter is the best medicine – or, at least, an important one to engage in daily. Laughter:

  • Lowers blood pressure;
  • Increases blood flow and oxygen levels in the blood (one of the major factors in premature aging is a lack of oxygen in the body);
  • Strengthens the abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles, as well as the diaphragm;
  • Reduces stress hormones;
  • Boosts the immune system response;
  • Increases memory and learning; and
  • Improves alertness and creativity.
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You know those crunchers you feel guilty about not doing? (By the way, those really aren’t good for women anyway.) Having a few good belly laughs every day will strengthen your core in the same – probably better – way…without you having to do any work!

And yes, allowing children to laugh at school and adults to laugh at work does not decrease productivity, but actually increases it.

An almost non-existent level of stress is one of the major common factors among the longest-lived people in the world, and one of the best ways to keep stress at bay is to laugh early and often.

Next to a proper diet and exercise, laughter is the best medicine as far as the natural health world is concerned. So, stick in that comedy DVD and let the gales begin!