A Good Belly Laugh Strengthens Immune System

HomeWell Senior Care of Morris County recently visited Care One of Madison to enjoy a day of Laughter Therapy with the residents in-house. A “good belly laugh” can alleviate stress and provide beneficial health results.

Some of the benefits of belly laughter are the following:

Muscle Relaxation – Belly laugh results in muscle relaxation. When you laugh the muscles that do not participate in the belly laugh relax. After you finish laughing those muscles involved in the laughter start to relax. So the action takes place in two stages.

Reduction of Stress Hormones – Laughter reduces at least four neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress response. These are epinephrine, cortisol, dopac and growth hormone.

Immune System Enhancement – Clinical studies have shown that humor strengthens the immune system.

Pain Reduction – Humor allows a person to “forget” about pains such as aches, arthritis, etc.

Cardiac Exercise – A belly laugh is equivalent to “an internal jogging.” Laughter can provide good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform physical exercises.

Blood Pressure – It can lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Women seem to benefit more than men in preventing hypertension.

Respiration – Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in, resulting in a cleansing effect – similar to deep breathing. Especially beneficial for patients who are suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.