Humor healing power researchers at Oxford University in England have concluded that a hearty laugh doesn't just make you feel good, it6 can actually relieve pain. A good guffaw releases chemicals called endorphins that cause mild euphoria and serve as a natural pain killer.
If things weren't funny and elicited a strained laugh, or polite giggle, the experiment showed that the subject's ability to pain lessened.
Professor Robin Dunbar, lead researcher, found that slapstick comedy seemed to work better than shows featuring stand-up comedians. His research is also going to investigate the relationship between laughter and bonding among groups.
Humor boosts the immune system
In 2006 researchers led by Lee Berk and Stanley A. Tan at Loma Linda University in California, found that two hormones beta-endorphins, which alleviate depression and human growth hormone HGH ( which helps with immunity ) increased by 27 and 87 percent, when volunteers watched a humorous video and anticipated laughter. Simply anticipating laughter boosted health-protecting hormones and body chemicals.
Humor reduces pain
Norman Cousins, upon his return from a meeting in Russia, was diagnosed with incurable Anklyosing Spondylitis, a collagen illness that attacks the connective tissues of the body, causing severe joint pain and fever.
After being hospitalized, he checked himself out and moved into a hotel. He hired a nurse and had her play Candid Camera, Marx Brothers etc. videos to make him laugh. Ten minutes of laughter gave him 2 hours of drug-free pain relief. He laughed himself to wellness and lived a productive life.
Humor reduces stress
The same Loma Linda university team previously mentioned, conducted a similar study recently to see if the anticipation of laughter that was shown to boost the immune system could also reduce the level of stress hormones. The researchers discovered that anticipating a positive event can reduce detrimental stress hormones.
Humor spreads happiness
That's why there are more than 5000 'Laughter Yoga' clubs around the world, where people laugh for no reason at all. These clubs have exercises that teach how to express laughter with your face and body.
Humor creates optimism
Humor can change perspective on a painful memory of the past, or a bothering issue of the present by presenting opportunities to laugh at life's idiosyncracies, or one's own follies.
Humor helps communication
Humor immediately removes the unease in communication. Nothing brings people together quicker than humor. It is a great barrier crasher and bridge builder.
Humor disarms fear
Humor takes away fear, because it changes your perspective of the past and present. Humor puts distance between the situation you fear and your reaction to it.
Humor provides comfort
This is why we now see more humor in children's hospitals and adult care facilities. Movies, such as 'Patch Adams' made us aware of the great value of humor in the healing process.
Humor is relaxing
Like any exercise, humor relaxes you and helps in dealing with chronic stress. You can't be stressed and laugh at the same time.
Humor is an attitude enhancer
Humor improves your attitude and outlook on life. People like to be around individuals with a sense of humor, as they are good company at any occasion.
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