The Power of a Good Laugh
The scientists have come to a conclusion about positive and healing effect of humor a long time ago. Patients who constantly undergo laughter therapeutic procedures often demonstrate higher motivation, better sleep conditions, reduced stress attacks and general improvement of health.
There is a lot of experimentally proved evidence of laughing profitable influence provided by many prominent scientist, among which there stands out Lee S. Berk, who has demonstrated in his extensive article about stress hormone changes that laughter is the tool which lets us reduce serum, cortisol, and epinephrine levels. It also increases T lymphocyte level and works out endorphin and dopamine, which are responsible for such feelings as pleasure, euphoria and satisfaction.
The biochemical changes caused by only several minutes of sincere long laugh also creates the so-called placebo effect, the power of mind able to go from brain to any injured parts of a body and alleviate the pain. Placebo, created by a good anecdote, funny story or hilarious film, can also boost our immune system and help it fight with inner and outer aggressors (Berk, L 2008).
This statement is backed up by an experiment conducted by Norman Cousins, who found out that 10 minutes of belly laughter may help get rid of sleep deprivation and generally improve the sleep conditions (Cousins, 2005).
Extensive laugh is also said to alleviate back pains, lessen blood pressure and help in tolerating headache (Weisenberg, M., Tepper, I., & Schwarzwald, 1995). A lot depends on the quality of jokes, anecdotes or fun stories aimed to serve as a painkillers, but when they are used wisely and by an experienced professional, who has studied therapeutic effect of humor for a long time, laugh can create miracles.
Berk, L. (1989). Neuroendocrine and stress hormone changes during mirthful laughter. American Journal of Medical Sciences, 298 (6), 393-396. Web.
Cousins, N. (2005). Anatomy of an illness: as percieved by the patient. (20th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Weisenberg, M., Tepper, I., & Schwarzwald, J. (1995) Humor as a cognitive technique for increasing pain tolerance. Pain, 63 (2), 207-212. Web.