It’s Comedy Fest in Traverse City! Time for some good belly laughs! In Norman Cousins’ memoir “Anatomy of an Illness,” the author found that comedies, like those of the Marx Brothers, helped him feel better and get some pain-free sleep. That’s because laughter helps the pituitary gland release pain-suppressing opiates.
Laughter does indeed have health benefits, and there is even a field of study devoted to this topic, ‘gelotology, ‘the science of laughter.
Did you know that laughter:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Eases pain - In a UCLA study that promotes research on the connection between humor and health, experts discovered that children tolerated pain better than usual when watching a funny program or video.
- Increases vascular oxygenation of the blood
- Reduces stress hormones
- Increases the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells like Gamma-interferon and T-cells. These cells are elevated for at least 12 hours after just an hour of watching your favorite comedy.
- Defends against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds
- Increases memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor during instruction led to increased test scores
- Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
And finally, a joke!
A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. "I couldn't help notice how happy you look," she said. "What's your secret for a long and happy life?"
"I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day," he said. "I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise."
"That's amazing," the woman said. "How old are you?"
And a hilarious video! It's a spoof on advertising and the use of the word 'natural.' You will want to watch this!