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We all know a joke of the day or when a friend says to you, "Have you heard the one about such and such?", these can really pick up your day. But did you know real laughter is good for you.
Have you ever wondered, “How to actually reduce the levels of chronic stress in your body and enhance your lifespan, boost immune system function, protect your nervous system and your sanity, and give your endocrine system a much-needed rest? Fortunately there are several easy ways to do this. But today let’s discuss easiest one: laughter.
Laughter is a healing activity. You may have seen the movie called "Patch Adams," it is a movie about a real life doctor who still practices today and uses laughter as healing. He's quite correct in using laughter as a healing therapy, because it is one of the most healing activities that you can engage.
Laughter operates on at least three different levels. They are the biophysical, the biochemical, and the bioenergetics levels.
At the biophysical level, laughter moves lymph fluid around your body simply by the convulsions you experience during the process of laughing; so it boosts immune system function and helps clear out old, dead waste products from organs and tissues. Remember that your lymph system doesn't have a separate pump; your body needs to move around to properly circulate lymph fluid so that your immune system can carry out its natural functions. Laughter is a great way to support that.
Secondly on the biophysical level, laughter increases oxygenation of your body at both the cellular and organ level. By laughing, you intake vast amounts of oxygen in huge gulps, and you repeat this process in a sort of temporary hyperventilation session. This is the natural result of laughter, and if you watch someone laugh, you will notice these biophysical effects.
Now, why is oxygen so good for your body? Oxygen is one of the primary catalysts for biological energy in the human body. Remember, we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, so oxygen is an element of intracellular energy that's absolutely necessary to sustain human life.
It's also interesting to note that cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen. In fact, many parasites and bacteria don't survive well in the presence of oxygen, and to the extent that you can circulate extra oxygen throughout your body, you can help prevent, or in some cases treat, these diseases.
This is one reason why we see an increasing number of so-called "oxygen bars" in the United States and other countries. People enjoy going to these bars and breathing a much higher concentration of oxygen, because they say it gives them greater mental clarity. They like the feeling of this extra oxygen: it's almost like that "natural high," as they say. The point is, oxygen is good for you, and when you laugh, you get more oxygen into the cells of your body.
Laughing also boosts circulation, so at the same time that you're distributing oxygen around your body, you're boosting the circulation of your blood; you're exercising abdominal muscles; you're exercising the muscles of your face; and you're enhancing the flexibility of various joints throughout your body. So it's a bit of physical exercise and healthful body movement as well.
The harder you laugh, the greater this effect. If you can find a way to put yourself into a state of rolling, outrageous laughter, you're going to get a fantastic physical workout from it. In fact, the next day, you may even find your stomach muscles are sore.
Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and your facial muscles were exhausted?
That's some serious exercise, and it's the kind of exercise in which we should all engage on a regular basis.