Topic: Fitness research articles
June 25, 2019 / By Gabriella Question:
Like, when your brain registers that there's something funny, and a laugh starts coming out of your mouth, what triggers that noise? Why do you even make that noise?
Davinia | 8 days ago
The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body is called gelotology.
Research shows that laughing helps protect the heart. Although studies are not sure why laughing protects the heart, the studies do explain that mental stress impairs the endothelium, which is the protective barrier lining a person’s blood vessels. Once the endothelium is impaired, it can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to cholesterol build up in a person’s coronary arteries, which can ultimately cause a heart attack. Psychologist Steve Sultanoff, Ph. D., who is the president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, gave this explanation:
"With deep, heartfelt laughter, it appears that serum cortisol, which is a hormone that is secreted when we’re under stress, is decreased. So when you’re having a stress reaction, if you laugh, apparently the cortisol that has been released during the stress reaction is reduced.
Also according to Sultanoff in his interview for the article for WebMD, laughter has been shown to increase tolerance of pain and boost the body’s production of infection-fighting antibodies, which can help prevent hardening of the arteries and subsequent conditions caused thereby such as angina, heart attacks, or strokes.
Sultanoff also added that research shows that distressing emotions lead to heart disease. It is shown that people who are “chronically angry and hostile have a greater likelihood for heart attack, people who “live in anxious, stressed out lifestyles have greater blockages of their coronary arteries”, and people who are “chronically depressed have a two times greater chance of heart disease.”
A study in Japan shows that laughter lowers blood sugar after a meal. Keiko Hayashi, Ph. D., R.N, of the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan, and his team performed a study of 19 people with type 2 diabetes. They collected the patients’ blood before and two hours after a meal. The patients attended a boring 40 minute lecture after dinner on the first night of the study. On the second night, the patients attend a 40 minute comedy show. The patients’ blood sugar went up after the comedy show, but much less than it did after the lecture. The study found that even when patients without diabetes did the same testing, a similar result was found. Scientists conclude that laughter is good for people with diabetes. They suggest that ‘chemical messengers made during laughter may help the body compensate for the disease."
Studies at the University of Maryland found that when a group of people were shown a comedy, after the screening their blood vessels performed normally, whereas when they watched a drama, after the screening their blood vessels tended to tense up and restricted the blood flow.
Studies show stress decreases the immune system. “Some studies have shown that humor may raise infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells. "When we laugh, natural killer cells which destroy tumors and viruses increase, along with Gamma-interferon (a disease-fighting protein), T-cells (important for our immune system) and B-cells (which make disease-fighting antibodies). As well as lowering blood pressure, laughter increases oxygen in the blood, which also encourages healing.”
Relaxation & Sleep
“The focus on the benefits of laughter really began with Norman Cousin’s memoir, Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, found that a diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, helped him feel better. He said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep.”
It has been estimated by scientists that laughing 100 times equals the same physical exertion as a 10 minute workout on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on a stationary exercise bike. Laughing works out the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles.
However, William Fry, a pioneer on laughter research, was said to indicate that it “took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter.”
Anxiety & Children
studies have shown that children who have a clown present prior to surgery along with their parents and medical staff had less anxiety than children who just had their parents and medical staff present. High levels of anxiety prior to surgery leads to a higher risk of complications following surgeries in children. According to researchers, about 60% of children suffer from anxiety before surgery.
The study involved 40 children ages 5 to 12 who were about to have minor surgery. Half had a clown present in addition to their parents and medical staff, the other half only had their parents and medical staff present. The results of the study showed that the children who had a clown present had significantly less pre-surgery anxiety.
Nearly 2/3 of people with asthma reported having asthma attacks that were triggered by laughter, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting in 2005. It did not seem to matter how deep of a laugh the laughter entailed, whether it be a giggle, chuckle, or belly laugh, says Stuart Garay, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at New York University Medical Center in New York.
Patients were part of an 18 month long program who were evaluated for a list of asthma triggers. The patients did not have any major differences in age, duration of asthma, or family history of asthma. However, exercise-induced asthma was more frequently found in patients who also had laughter-induced asthma, according to the study. 61% of laughter induced asthma also reported exercise as a trigger, as opposed to only 35% without laughter-induced asthma. Andrew Ries, M.D. indicates that “it probably involves both movements in the airways as well as an emotional reaction.
Types of Therapy
There is well documented and ongoing research in this field of study. This has led to new and beneficial therapies practiced by doctors, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals using humor and laughter to help patients cope or treat a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual issues. The various therapies are not specific to health care professionals or clinicians. Some of the therapies can be practiced individually or in a group setting to aid in a person's well-being. There seems to be something to the old saying "laughter is the best medicine". Or perhaps, as stated by Voltaire, "The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease."
Humor Therapy: It is also known as therapeutic humor. Using humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients' own humorous experiences. This can be provided individually or in a group setting. The process is facilitated by clinician. There can be a disadvantage to humor therapy in a group format, as it can be difficult to provide materials that all participants find humorous. It is extremely important that the clinician is sensitive to laugh "with" clients rather than "at" the clients.
Clown Therapy: Individuals that are trained in clown therapy, proper hygiene and hospital procedures. In some hospitals "clown rounds" are made. The clowns perform for others with the use of magic, music, fun, joy, and compassion. For hospitalized children, clown therapy can increase patient cooperation and decrease parental & patient anxiety. In some children the need for sedation is reduced. Other benefits include pain reduction and the increased stimulation of immune function in children. This use of clown therapy is not limited to hospitals. They can transform other places where things can be tough such as nursing homes, orphanages, refugee camps, war zones, and even prisons. The presence of clowns tends to have a positive effect.
Laughter Therapy: A client's laughter triggers are identified such as people in their lives that make them laugh, things from childhood, situations, movies, jokes, comedians, basically anything that makes them laugh. Based on the information provided by the client, the clinician creates a personal humor profile to aid in the laughter therapy. In this one on one setting, the client is taught basic exercises that can be practiced. The intent of the exercises is to remind the importance of relationships and social support. It is important the clinician is sensitive to what the client perceives as humorous.
Laughter Meditation: In laughter meditation there are some similarities to traditional meditation. However, it is the laughter that focuses the person to concentrate on the moment. Through a three stage process of stretching, laughing and or crying, and a period of meditative silence. In the first stage, the person places all energy into the stretching every muscle without laughter. In the second stage, the person starts with a gradual smile, and then slowly begins to purposely belly laugh or cry, whichever occurs. In the final stage, the person abruptly stops laughing or crying, then with their eyes now closed they breathe without a sound and focus their concentration on the moment. The process is approximately a 15 minute exercise. This may be awkward for some people as the laughter is not necessarily spontaneous. This is generally practiced on an individual basis.
Laughter Yoga & Laughter Clubs: Somewhat similar to traditional yoga, laughter yoga is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, stretching techniques along with laughter. The structured format includes several laughter exercises for a period of 30 to 45 minutes facilitated by a trained individua
The physical mechanism behind laughter isn't clearly understood. And what makes us laugh isn't clearly understood at all. It's been postulated that laughter is a social bonding cue, as it hasn't been observed in other animals. One piece of evidence for this is that people often laugh when others laugh, even if they don't find something funny. Also, studies have shown strong correlations between physical attraction and laughter, though the meaning of this isn't clear.
However, the fact that people can laugh while alone is counterevidence to this theory (although it's been shown that people laugh much more at the same joke when others are around).
The things people laugh at vary in nature, and while some of the simple things (like a monkey doing something silly) are easily understood, other things (like a sarcastic or well-thought-out joke) aren't.
I heard somewhere once that laughter happens when your brain gets conflict in what it sees and what is expected to be seen. The laughter happens when it does not make sense. For instance, a person walking who trips, other people would laugh because it does not make sense that they would witness someone trip, most likely in a place where they normally would not trip. The person who tripped might even laugh. It's a way to shake off confusion.
About the noise, I don't know why that happens.
A funny one and I give you a star. Here is a funny(!!) ghosts chat. Two ghosts met and both chat about how they died. 1st ghost : How u died? 2nd ghost : I died of cold. 1st ghost : How does it feel when you're dying in cold? 2nd ghost : Actually, I was accidentally locked in the refrigerator. Initially, I was shivering, then my whole body started to freeze, later I felt the whole world was dark and I died suffocating. 1st ghost : Wow what a horrible way to die.... 2nd ghost : How about you? How u die? 1st ghost : I died from heart attack. 2nd ghost : I see, why did u have a heart attack? 1st ghost : Actually, I found out that my wife is having an affair with another man. One day, when I came back from work, saw a pair of man shoes outside my house. Then, I realized that the guy was in my house with my wife. When I rushed into the bedroom, my wife was alone. I must find where that bastard is hiding. So I searched the toilet, I ran downstairs, looked in the storeroom, but the bastard was not there. So, I ran upstairs and searched the wardrobe, but I found nothing. Because of all that running,I got a heart attack and died. 2nd ghost : Why you never look for the bastard in the fridge? The bastard was hiding there. We both might be alive now!!
I wonder this too. Also..if there's a difference in laughter from something funny..and hysterical laughter. I remember when something really bad was happening to me and I laughed...and people didn't take me seriously because of it. I'm not able to laugh much now because of what happened. I'm grateful for the times I can...usually from something funny that surprises me.
Thanks..Mr. Nice...for that link . It was interesting.
someone telling me that I've got to be quiet.
being around someone else that is in hysterics (especially a baby that thinks that something is funny).
watching thoughts run through peoples heads, when they may as well have a bulletin board in neon lights. Kind of like asking a dog where his ball is, and he stops to think, "Hey! Where is my ball???" While turning his head in thought.
The ability to see humor in some otherwise pathetic situations has made (at least my life) it easier to continue, without lowering myself to less than I expect of myself.
I don't know if I helped in your question, just the way I Feel. Good luck!!! :)
The mechanics of humor aren't entirely understood. Humans can be funny on purpose. That in itself is amazing. Of course, some are funnier than others.
Christopher Hitchens contends women aren't funny because they don't have to be. It's an entertaining read: