W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Health & Fitness - 192 pages
Norman Cousin's enormously influential best-selling book illustrates the concept at the heart of the holistic health principle: that the human mind is capable of promoting the body's potential for healing itself even when faced with a seemingly hopeless medical predicament. Recounting his personal experiences of working in close collaboration with his doctor to overcome a crippling and supposedly irreversible disease, Cousins outlines the life-saving and ultimately life-prolonging benefits to be gained by taking responsibility for one's own well-being. "I have learned," the author writes, "never to underestimate the capacity of the human mind and body to regenerate -- even when the prospects seem most wretched." This remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit is inspirational reading for anyone contending with a serious illness.
Laughter Makes Your Blood Flow More Freely
Have you had a good laugh yet today? Call up a good friend or family member, stat! Recent research from the University Of Maryland School of Medicine presented at the 2011 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual conference found a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow and lead to atherosclerosis. Laughter, however, had the opposite effect. So get the pals you love most together for a good chuckle more often. For the study, participants watched segments of a funny movie, like “There’s Something About Mary” on one day and a stressful movie such as “Saving Private Ryan” on another day. The stressful film caused vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels, while the comedy caused the vessels to expand. “The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium [blood vessel lining] after laughing was consistent and similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic exercise or statin use,” Michael Miller MD, a professor of medicine and lead investigator, said in a release from the ESC. Stress and Health: Implications of Chronic Stress
When faced with chronic stress and an overactivated autonomic nervous system, people begin to see physical symptoms. The first symptoms are relatively mild, like chronic headaches and increased susceptibility to colds. With more exposure to chronic stress, however, more serious health problems may develop. These stress-influenced conditions include, but are not limited to: • depression
• hair loss
• heart disease
• obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder
• tooth and gum disease
• cancer (possibly)
In fact, most it’s been estimated that as many as 90% of doctor’s visits are for symptoms that are at least partially stress-related!
Laughter is the Best Medicine
The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter
Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body
“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” ~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting...