Has a Healing Power All Its Own
Laughter has always
been considered something somewhat mystical. It is deeply engrained
in our evolutionary psychology, and humans have spent centuries, or
even millenia, attempting to fully understand it.
are many that have believed in the healing power of laughter. Audrey
Hepburn said I
love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like
most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most
important thing in a person.
the Benefits of Laughter Simply a Placebo?
it may be easy to believe that the positive benefits of laughter are
the result of a grand placebo effect, in recent decades, scientists
have actually begun to uncover a number of physiological and
psychological benefits associated with laughter that prove that
laughter is more than just a sugar pill for the brain.
Dwoskin: Unlocking the Power of Laughter
path to unlocking the ultimate benefits of laughter was designed by a
man named Hale Dwoskin, inventor of what is known as The Sedona
Method. Dwoskin both wroth the best selling book, The Sedona Method,
and was featured in the movie Letting Go, educating the protagonist
about the powers of freeing the mind. One of the primary features of
The Sedona Method revolve around unlocking the power of laughter to
maximize both mental and physical health.
Dwoskin explains that laughter can offer these powerful benefits
without costing you a dime. A life full of laughter has been shown to
be a happy and relaxing way to boost both well-being and health.
There are many in the past that have believed that laughter was
simply a placebo: That it is simply an expression of joy that
reinforces itself through its expression. Research has provided reams
of evidence to the contrary.
Produces Real Benefits
is compelling indication that the physical process of laughing
elicits true physiological benefits to both mind and body (and to the
soul, but no study could prove that benefit!). Although there is
still so much that we don't understand about what it is to laugh, we
have been able to record and monitor the physical changes in the body
that take place as a result of laughter.
and the Heart
of the benefits of laughter are in relation to the cardiovascular
system. Laughter has been shown to induce healthy blood pressure,
actually causing the heart rate to increase. Although this increase
is not as high as what is achieved during physical exercise, these
brief bursts of intensity have been shown to be physiologically
beneficial to cardiovascular health, encouraging healthier blood
pressure throughout the day.
also speeds up the rate of breathing to compensate for increased
energy consumption. This increase in air flow helps oxygen reach
deeper tissues, feeding the body, promoting greater health by
providing disparate tissues with one of the key ingredients to
support their normal daily function.
also provides certain benefits that have also been associated with
the process of yoga. Laughter is a physiological reaction which
encourages relaxation. The process of laughter causes numerous
muscles to release their energy, so much so, that they can relieve
tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. This form of relaxation
further encourages blood to flow freely through the body.
health feeds on these various physical changes as well. Total
oxygenation and physical feelings of relaxation play a vital role in
the maintenance of a positive mind state that broadens your point of
feelings associated with negative attitude. It simply leads to a more
easy-going state of mind.
is an Evolutionary Health Adaptation
goes on to explain that laughter produces these amazing benefits
because of the way that we are designed as human beings. In social
interaction, laughter is a form of release. It relieves the tensions
of social situations. It's the best Ice Breaker around. Scientific
evidence shows that the physiological benefits of laughter actually
mirror the social and interpersonal benefits of the action. Laughter
is a sign to the people around you that everything is okay and there
is no reason to be worried.
of our bodies, the process of laughter actually changes our internal
chemistry, removing from our bodies the anxiety and intensity of the
Fight-or-Flight state of mind. Laughter is a social code that is
processed by the body, putting it at ease. Laughter is a natural
relief valve, both socially and physiologically, that loosens us up
in every sense of the word.
of Maryland Laughter Study
physical action of laughing is one of the simplest and most basic
ways that we can let go of our worries and simply put our bodies at
ease. Health scientists have discovered that laughter actually shares
many benefits with exercise! In one clinical study initiated by the
U. Maryland Med School of Baltimore, laughter was shown to impact the
body's physical ability to relax all the way down to the blood
vessels. The physical act of laughing encourages the blood vessels to
dilate easier and more often.
is actually a major risk factor for cardiovascular complications such
as stroke and heart attack, because tightened blood vessels
exacerbate the negative effects of plaque within the arteries, and
can actually block blood flow to the body in severe circumstances. In
addition to this, the combination of increased blood pressure and
decreased blood vessel volume makes it more likely that chunks of
plaque break off and clog vital blood pathways in the brain, heart,
or anywhere else in the body.
the U. Maryland study, participants had their circulation monitored
while they watched a comedic movie. Researchers discovered that in
all but one of the twenty subjects, blood circulation increased
significantly at a rate which averaged twenty two percent! This level
of increase is no small feat, and researchers explained that the
increase in blood flow encouraged by laughter in this situation
produced a benefit that would be the veritable equivalent of fifteen
to thirty minutes of exercise!
Heart Association Laughter Study
aren't the only ways that laughter encourages better health. As a
result of research funded by that American Heart Association, it was
discovered that men and women suffering from heart disease were
significantly less likely to turn to laughter as a form of
physiological release. Participants were displayed a number of
amusing situations which were intended to encourage them to laugh.
Individuals with heart disease laughed forty percent less often than
their healthier counterparts.
addition to this additional benefit associated with the
cardiovascular system, laughter has been shown to encourage the
release of beneficial hormones within the brain as well. When we
laugh, our bodies pump out endorphins at high rates. Endorphins serve
two primary functions. Endorphins are chemicals which induce feelings
of pleasure, but they also function as potent painkillers as well.
Endorphins usually fire off rapidly in situations where we experience
pain, in an effort to dull pain and preserve our ability to make
decisions and take action.
has long been hypothesized that laughter naturally has the ability to
help us forget about pain, but research of this kind actually shows
that laughter cures both physical and emotional pain as a result of
chemical processes within our brain! This rush of endorphins is one
of the reasons why it is believed that laughter helps us feel better,
inducing a state of elevated well-being. Endorphins are also
associated with other physiologically beneficial acts in our lives.
Endorphins are what makes the Runners High of exercise encourage us
to take care of our sexual health. Also, when we have an orgasm, a
cocktail of endorphins explode within our minds.
all three of these cases sex, exercise, and laughter stress
levels have been shown to evaporate as a result.
and Human Growth Hormone
has also been shown to have a beneficial effect upon Human Growth
Hormone Production. It has long been believed that people who are
able to laugh live longer lives than those who have stern mannerisms
and outlook. Human Growth Hormone is one of the primary hormones
associated with youth and vitality, and as HGH levels decline, we
begin to age more rapidly.
a result of this correlation between laughter and HGH, the physical
act of laughing may actually be one of the most potent and natural
ways to maintain physical and mental youth. We primarily produce
Human Growth Hormone during two periods. HGH is released at its
highest levels while we are in deep sleep, and HGH pulses into the
blood stream directly as a result of physical exertion. As we
explained earlier, laughter has the ability to imitate the physical
changes that take place during exercise, and this includes the manner
in which our body utilizes natural Human Growth Hormone.
a way, laughter and exercise are functionally equivalent as our
pituitary gland is concerned, and the pituitary gland is the organ
responsible for the healthy release of HGH into the blood stream.
Laughter really is an amazing thing. A recent study even revealed
that imagining laughter has the ability to boost the body's
production of both HGH and powerful endorphins.
Linda HGH Study
study funded by Loma Linda University and conducted by Lee S. Berk
showed that simply priming an individual for laughter had the ability
to boost the release of both endorphins and Growth Hormone. In
expectation of watching a comedic film, HGH levels were shown to
increase 87%, and beta-endorphins were shown to increase by 27%.
sharp increase in Growth Hormone Production is a function of the way
that the hormone works. HGH is released is sharp, bright pulses by
the pituitary, and the researchers were actually able to catch one of
these pulses as the Human Growth Hormone circulated through the body
to the liver and other process-points.
is Important to Health
body of scientific research mirrors what we have known in our hearts
for our entire lives. Everyone needs to experience laughter. Although
we are scientifically capturing the benefits of laughter, we are also
realizing the adults need to infuse far more laughter and amusement
into their lives. Researchers have discovered that kids laugh as
often as one hundred times each day. Many grown ups only laugh five
or six times per day. As we discussed earlier, people who forget how
to laugh pay for it literally with their hearts as they grow older,
so we in America need to teach ourselves that its okay to laugh.
Laughter brings out the childish heart within each and every one of
us, both figuratively and literally.
we recognize that this adult world that we live in often prohibits
laughter, we encourage you to go out and seek it wherever it may
hide. Your body and brain will thank you for it. The goal of
Dwoskin's Sedona Method is to imitate the process of laughter in
order to increase the benefits to the body associated with laughter,
but Dwoskin also says that the true process of amusement and laughing
elicits the same benefits conferred by utilizing The Sedona Method.
laughter is just as good as The Sedona Method, why not just laugh?
Sedona Method is awesome for those periods where you just can't
laugh. The Method is actually a process of powerful introspection.
The goal of this introspection is not to dwell upon your inner
concerns and thoughts, but to recognize them and dissociate them from
your psychological health in order to increase your peace of mind.
The Sedona Method is literally the method of letting go. It's taking
all the things that make the seas within your mind tumultuous, and
casting them temporarily aside in order to focus on your sense of
inner peace and well-being.
goal of The Sedona Method is to capture the benefits of laughter and
condense them so that you can benefit from them even in times when
you are circumstantially or emotionally incapable or not socially
expected to laugh.
Often, Laugh Loudly
really is a beautiful and wonderful thing, and we encourage you to
laugh as much and as often as possible. It will make you both happier
and healthier. Laughter has been a part of both our psyche and our
physiological response to the world as long as mankind has existed.
There is even evidence that it has existed since long before man even
came to be. There are numerous species which emulate that same
process of laughter that we engage in ourselves.
truly is something that brings us together and helps us take down the
borders which prevent us with engaging with ourselves and with others
in honesty and in joy. Take time every day to remember how to laugh.
Your body will thank you and you'll be happier for it!