Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Did you get your laugh on today?

Hey Everyone!

So, technology is not on my side today. I've lost internet connection throughout the day, ,my laptop AC adapter decided it was time to die, and my work computer won't accept my USB stick. Ever heard the expression 'when it rains, it pours.' Well that about sums up my day. Luckily, I work from home so I can blog from my other computer. The bad thing is I can't access any pictures. So, what's a girl to do? Write a post about laughing things off, of course!

I think I can speak for most people when I say, laughing is awesome. I mean when something makes me laugh I am usually infected by it for a couple of minutes. It feels so darn good to get a good chuckle out that it must be good for you to do on a regular basis. They do say that laughter is the best medicine!

In fact, laughing is actually called a healing activity. Natural News says that laughter can be broken down to three levels. The biophysical, the biochemical, and the bioenergetic levels.

Biophysical Level- Laughter moves lymph around your body, boosting immune system function. So, why not jump on your rebounder and laugh hysterically. Or, is that not a good idea? I will test it out and let you know:) Killing two birds with one stone here guys and gals!

Biochemical Level- Every minute of laughter produces so many healing biochemicals in the body which you simply could not find in a pill. These chemicals range from serotonin to immune helpers like interleukins. Having these circulate around in your body can produce numerous health benefits including reduced chronic stress.

Bioenergetic Level- As you are laughing hysterically, you are actually breathing in heaps of oxygen. All this oxygen has to go somewhere, so the ciruculation system picks up the pace to get it to your cells. Along with improved circulation, comes mental clarity and disease prevention. People actually go to oxygen bars to improve their focus. Yes, these people are paying for lots and lots of air! Also, did you know that many parasites, and even cancer, cannot live in an oxygenated environment?

Research by Dr. Lee Berk suggests that even if you know you are about to laugh, that is enough to change the biochemistry. This anticipation caused the increase of two hormones, beta-endorphins and human growth hormone. The endorphins are involved in elevating mood and the HGH is involved in immune function. Another study looked at the reduction of bad stress hormones and found that the same anticipation of laughter reduced cortisol, epinephrine, and dopac (related to dopamine).

Laughter is so good for you they even have classes where you just laugh. How cool would that be to have in University or high school?

So, how does laughing actually take place? A cool article by Care2 sums it up pretty well. First off, it actually only takes about a half a second for something to register as being funny. This causes electrical "waves" to move about the higher functions of the cerebral cortex, the outer most tissue of the cerebrum. The left hemisphere of the brain analyzes the words and their structure. The right side of the brain makes sense out of it. The visual-sensory section of the occipital lobe conjures up images, the limbic section makes you happier, and the motor sections make you laugh or smile.
It amazes me how quickly all these connections can take place allowing me to laugh!
So, have a great laugh today! Whether its a movie, a funny pet moment, or pasting a post-it to your co-workers back (be nice!), enjoy a chuckle and know that you are doing a great thing for your health!
P.S. if you want to watch something super funny and cute, check out the YouTube vid below. The hubby and I watched it over and over and it still didn't get old.


Rae Dalzell said...

Mel love this post! I just went through and must have read about 20 of your posts in a row- great blog!

I am studying neuroscience right now so it was cool to hear the explaination of happiness and laughing and how its processed in your brain! We all need our daily laughs :)

love ya

Melissa said...

Hey hun!! So nice to hear from you! Thanks for reading and I'm glad you like it! Ya, I loved to hear how laughing is triggered..too cool! Hope you and Brad are doing well:) love ya!