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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laughter's Effects on the Body

There has been some research done in the last few decades on the health effects of laughter on the body. The research has turned up some interesting information:

Blood Flow: A study was done at the University of Maryland where researchers showed either a comedy or drama to people in the study. Those who watched a comedy had blood vessels that behaved normally, that is they expanded and contracted easily. Those who watched the drama were tense and their blood flow was restricted.

Blood Sugar: A study was done with people who had diabetes to see how laughter may affect blood sugar levels. On one occasion, the people had a meal and then attended a lecture. On another occasion they watched a comedy after eating. When the results were examined, it was found that the people had lower blood sugar levels after watching the comedy than they did after attending the lecture.

Immune Response: When stress increases, the response of the immune system decreases. Some studies show that laughter can raise the level of antibodies that fight infection.

Relaxation and sleep: Laughter can stimulate your circulation and help relieve muscle tension. It can also help you to cope with difficult situations.

Here are some links to some great information on the effects of laughter on health:

The Connection between Laughter, Humor, and Good Health (University of Kentucky)

The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter (Assemblies of God General Council web site)

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