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Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

Enhancing Your Immune System Series

By: Laura Tetrault 

Reading Time: 3 mins


In our last article that introduced the immune system’s agents and infiltrators, we mentioned briefly that laughter is a tool we can use to give our immune system a boost. You can access our articles on sleep, vitamins and supplements through these links.

We know that stress isn’t good for us. But do you know why?

Besides tying us in knots and making us less than desirable roommates, tension, worry, anger and other negative feelings open the valves to our fight-or-flight system, releasing stress hormones into our bodies. Stress hormones suppress our immune system – which might be why people often get sick after a stressful event, like exams.

Laughter shuts off the valve – allowing T-cells and B-cells to increase. They’re the agents (specially trained white blood cells) that target viruses and unfriendly bacteria in our bodies. According to Marshall Brian, in his article for HowStuffWorks.com, “Laughter also increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against infectious organisms entering through the respiratory tract”.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic to the Stanford University Medical School have been working on identifying how laughter affects us in the ways that it does. Their work has helped us discover some big benefits to laughter. William Fry, M.D., a researcher at Stanford, recently demonstrated that “mirthful laughter markedly enhances the body’s ability to resist illness.” He went on to say that he has no doubt that mirthful laughter increases the number of T-cells.

We also know that it improves our moods, lessening depression and anxiety. Laughter can even relieve pain by causing the body to release pain killers. This might be related to the fact that researchers have estimated that laughter can be a total body workout. When we use our muscles our bodies release endorphins.


Our team here at Leamington Wellness Pharmacy cares about your health and wellbeing. So much so, that they have kindly created the following “prescription”. (PS we are not endorsing the content of this list as a business, these movies and funny things are designed to inspire you to find what works for you).

Our list of things to watch to make you laugh ranges from Abbott and Costello to Pulp Fiction so we suggest you check out IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to find movies to your taste and maturity level.

Movies

• A League of Their Own
• Abbot and Costello – Who’s on First
• Airplane
• Being There
• Beverly Hills Cop
• Buster Keaton 1920/1930
• Clueless
• Coming To America
• Dad Joke Battles on YouTube
• Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
• Galaxy Quest
• GrownUps
• Home Alone
• Legally Blonde
• Meet the Parents
• Monty Python and the Holy Grail
• Mrs. Doubtfire
• Office Space
• Patch Adams
• Police Academy
• Pulp Fiction
• School of Rock
• Stripes
• Tag
• The Blues Brothers
• The Princess Bride
• The Three Amigos
• Tommy Boy
• Trading Places
• Wayne’s World (1 and 2)


References:
https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/laughter7.htm
https://www.igrc.org/blogpostsdetail/laughing-your-way-to-a-strong-immune-system-4421954
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-immune-system/.cncahealth.com/how-laughter-boosts-your-immunesystem-reduces-stress-and-more/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113058.htm