You’ve heard the expression “Laughter is the best medicine.” As funny as this sounds, it turns out that there is some truth to that statement. One way laughter promotes health is by keeping our minds off of our aches and pains.
Who knew watching funny cat videos online was actually a distraction from your neck pain? A good laugh increases the body’s production of endorphins, or your “feel good” hormones, which makes laughter an all-natural pain reliever!
Laughter also simultaneously suppresses the production of cortisol and adrenalin, or the body’s “stress hormones.” Side effects of joy and well-being seem a lot better than possible negative side effects of drugs commonly used to mask symptoms.
A strong immune system is imperative to optimal health. Laughter has a positive effect on the immune system. It does this by increasing the production and release of natural killer (NK) cells.
These are a type of white blood cell produced in the innate immune system that actually rejects viruses and tumors. Low NK cell activity is linked to decreased disease resistance. Regular laughter also diminishes inflammation within the body.
One group of 48 individuals took part in a laughter therapy group four times over one month.
The other 61 volunteers served as a control group. Before and after the trial month the participants were assessed for depression, cognitive function, quality of life, and sleep quality. Findings showed that those in the laughter therapy group enjoyed significant improvement, compared with those in the control group.
The study’s authors concluded that “Laughter therapy is considered to be useful, cost-effective and an easily-accessible intervention that has positive effects on depression, insomnia, and sleep quality in the elderly.” (Geriatr Gerontol Int 2011; Epub.)
Go ahead and enjoy those funny cat videos on your phone (and don’t forget about proper posture while doing so). Laughter is just one of many prevention-oriented approaches embraced by Chiropractors.
The combination of Chiropractic care with laughter is a natural and safe way to help your body be the best it can be!