The Body’s Response to Laughter: Give Me More

HomeWell Senior Care of Morris County visited the group residence at Chatham Hills to lead a Laughter Therapy for senior residents. Laughter Therapy has many health benefits and can help to improve both one’s mental and physical health. Research suggests that after exposure to humor there is a general increase in activity within the immune system. A “good belly laugh” can lead to an increase in the number and activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells.

This type of therapy can “talk to” the immune system and tell it to “turn it up a notch,” increases the activation of dormant T-cells (T lymphocytes)–just awaiting activation. It can also increase the immunoglobulin A antibody levels in the body (immunoglobulin A), helping to fight upper respiratory tract infections.

The human body’s chemical response to laughter therapy also includes an increase in gamma interferon, which tells various components of the immune system to “turn on,” and an increase in lgB, the immunoglobulin produced in the greatest quantity in the body, as well as upping the levels in Complement 3, which helps the antibodies produced to pierce dysfunctional or infected cells. The increase in both lgB and Complement 3 was present when subjects watched a funny video and maintained higher and more beneficial levels even into the following day.

Laughter truly is some of the best medicine.