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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
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Laughter 'protects the heart'

The old adage that laughter is the best medicine may be true according to doctors. Research carried out in the US suggests that laughing and having a good sense of humour can protect against heart disease. The study by doctors at the University of Maryland has found that people who fail to raise a smile in stressful or uncomfortable situations may be more likely to develop heart problems.     More....

Laughter the best medicine.


Whenever we fall  ill, we go to a doctor who examines us, diagnoses the ailment and prescribes a medicine. We take the prescribed medicine treatment and, in due course, recover. Thus prompt  medical attention and appropriate medication restores the sick man to his former health and strength. Then , Why is it said that the Laughter is the best medicine.

Medical experts say that many of our diseases are mental. Physical sufferings or ailments are often  the symptoms of some inner mental disorder. Today, life is very stressful and stress related diseases are on the rise. Majority of illnesses have some relation to stress. Some of the modern life stress related diseases are: high blood pressure, depression, anxiety,  heart disease, cancer and low immunity etc. Stress, depression, anger etc. release adrenalin into stomach and this can lead to future disorders.

Many of the doctors are of the view that if a man is happy, cheerful, contended and positive, disease will  not draw to him and, even if it does, it will not stay with him.

Recently I have seen a big display card in a hospital which says that “ LAUGHING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR ILLNESS.”

So let us analyze what laughter is ? and what are its effects ?

Laughter is to smile or make sounds to show that are you are happy or amused. Laughter is a physical , mental and spiritual tonic. Laughter is also  the internal jogging. Research indicates that the children smile or laugh 400 times per day, adults smile or laugh 15 or less times per day.

The total capacity  of pair of lungs is about 3,500 cubic centimeters, or is 10 times breath taken in . Hearty laughter takes in more amount of air to lungs &  makes it fresh by oxidization. The entire body including the brain is exposed to an increased amount of Oxygen. So we feel very fresh after a good laugh.

Some of you might have heard about a famous book called “ anatomy of illness” written by Norman cousin, an American journalist.. In this book he explains, how he recovered from illness. Few years ago, he was hospitalized and unable to move his limbs. Doctors said that his recovery will be miracle. He was very strong and believed that if a person works under stress, worries much, lives in anxiety and fear , his health breaks down.

Then converse must be true. If a man is cheerful  all the time, if there is love, faith, hope, optimism etc he will be free from most of the illness. Immediately he called his friends to visit him with comic films, comic books etc. They gave a very good collection of humorous articles.

He started  seeing comic movies, read jokes, laughed again & again. He laughed  as often as he could. To his astonishment, he found he could give up medicines. Within few months, he was fit enough to play on Golf and resume his journalistic work. The doctors were amazed.

US researchers have said that even looking forward to having a good laugh can boost the immune system. They also found that  When you watch a humorous video, CORTISOL, a stress hormone will be reduce by 39%, another stress hormone “Adrenaline “ by 70%. While , levels of feel good hormone “ Endorphin” rose 27% and growth hormone by 87%. Growth hormone is very essential for immune system.

It is a scientifically established fact that laughter improves & regularizes hormone secretion ( ejection) in the body. Laughter Also provides rhythematic movements of abdominal muscles , gently massages the intestines and thus improves  digestion & blood circulation.

Research shows that laughing, cheerfulness and smiling creates motion waves in the mind and generates immunoglobolin & endorphins which makes strong immunity system to prevent & fight disease .

A hospital in Bombay has a library of comic books,  films, cartoon etc. Guest speakers always comes to this hospital makes the patients laugh with humorous stories and jokes.

We have lot of great people who have very good sense of humour. Socrates, Mahatma Ghandhi, St.Francis Assisi, Vivekanandha are some of them.

Mahtma Gandhi said” If I did not have my sense of humour, I would have committed suicide long ago”

Swami Vivekananda was a child of joy. He was so spontaneous.

 He did not restrain himself from laughing at public meetings when the occasion demand.

Bernard shaw was also has a very good sense of humour. One day  a beautiful lady met Bernard shaw and said : “You have the best intellect in the world and I have the most beautiful face. If we married, we would be able to produce the perfect child.”

Bernard shaw answered: “Do you imagine what would be the child’s condition if he had your brains and my face.”

I would like to give you some practical suggestions to improve your health

·         See comic movies &  funny videos regularly

·         Read humorous books & jokes at least once in a week

·         See that your face always wears a smile

·         Anticipate funny or happy event in your life.

·         Give a hearty laugh at least three times everyday- Once before breakfast, once before lunch and once before dinner.

·         Develop a healthy sense of humor

·         Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.

·         Try to share jokes with your family.

·         Try to join a laughing club and enjoy their company

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