Laughter Therapy - An Effective Treatment
Almost all of us have heard that "Laughter is best Medicine!" How true is this statement? A study conducted shows that 20-25 minutes of laughter every day is healthy for the body. This can make you feel fresh, energetic and young for the whole day. What makes us laugh? When we laugh, the zygomatic major muscle is stimulated and 15 facial muscles contracted. In the meantime, the epiglottis partly closes the larynx and air intake becomes irregular. A noise usually accompanies this struggle to get enough oxygen to enter the system. This condition is what we call a burst of laughter. What is laughter therapy? Laughter therapy is a form of therapy that encourages people to use the natural, physiological process of laugher to release painful emotions like anger, fear, helplessness, depression and stress. How laughter caused the body healthy? Laughter provides a full-scale workout for your muscles and unleashes a rush of stress-busting endorphins. In this modern era, we tends to have a busy lifestyle and dealing with lots of stresses in works and life. Hence laughter is perhaps the only medicine that comes for free but does miracles for us since it helps us to be healthy in many ways. It helps us relieve stress, strengthen and improving our immune system, and helps blood vessel functions better. There are many other benefits of laughter therapy other than stated above such makes it easier to cope with life and its challenges, enhancing the social skills and improve communication, build in self-confident or self-esteem, and lastly makes you looks young and healthier.
Most diseases are related to stress and tension depressions. An estimated 80 percent of all doctors’ visits and medication prescribed today are for stress related illnesses. A person who having a stress and tension depression might having various problems in their body such as high blood pressure, heart troubles, diabetic and digestion problems. Laughter is a powerful stress buster due to the releasing of opposite emotions that you would have when you are under stress. This then will melt the negative factors, relaxes the nerves and tired muscles. In addition, it makes the brain become more active than usual. Laughing relates to the curing of high blood pressure, heart troubles, diabetic and digestion problems because muscular tension is released when you laugh. This results in better digestion and enhances the heart rate and blood flow. The increasing of blood supply to various body parts cause the blood vessels carrying blood in our body expands. Laughter also helps in keeping the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine low because when we laugh, our mind stops the thought process, we do not think of anything. Laughter released endorphins into the blood streams. What are endorphins and its function? Endorphins are like life-savers for your body. It is well-known with its’ highly efficient to reduce pain and it is more efficient than morphine. It is also naturally occurring feel-good chemicals. However, endorphin just acts as a temporary pain-killer. It also helps eliminate those negative feelings and stressful emotions by making you ‘feel happy’ without any drug or alcohol factor included. This “feel good hormones” are released and it is a “self-manufactured natural opiate that has been scientifically shown to carry messages of attachment and bonding (the scientific terms for love), and to stimulate feelings of caring and forgiveness in addition to acting as a natural painkiller. Endorphins create a positive state of mind and boost optimism, self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.”(American School of Laughter Yoga, 2012). In the late 1970s, a research on laughter therapy was conducted by Dr Lee Berk from Loma University Medical Centre, California. “In 1989, Berk studied the effects of laughter in 10 healthy males. Five experimental subjects watched an hour-long comedy while five control...
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2) Annonymous,2005. “Laughter helps blood vessel functions better”. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050310100458.htm on February 22, 2013
3) The observer, 2006. “Laughter therapy”. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/06/healthandwellbeing4 on February 22, 2013
4) American school of laughter yoga,2012. “Benefits of laughter”. Retrieved from http://www.laughteryogaamerica.com/learn/laughteryoga-learn/physiology-psychology-of-laughter-yoga-1527.php on February 22, 2013.
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