Skip to content
Laugh Your Way to Cardiac Health
Joe Piscatella posted:
Experts say that a good laugh - like a good workout - produces an overall sense of well-being and helps to manage the stress that underlies so many diseases and conditions, including heart disease.

Laughter flexes the muscles of the chest and abdomen, including the diaphram, and causes deep breathing to take place. By exercising the shoulders, neck and face, it releases tension in the muscles. And humor itself can create a more positive perspective on life and its challenges.

Until recently, many health professionals discounted laughter's therapeutic effect. Now things are changing, in large part because of the groundbreaking work done by Norman Counsins, once editor of Saturday Review and subsequently a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. In his book Anatomy of an Ilness, he recounts how laughter helped to cure an unexplained sudden illness for which he had been hospitalized. After a period of time with no progress, he abondoned conventional thinking, stopped taking medication and ordered in reel upon reel of old Marx Brothers films. According to Mr. Cousins, his heavy, sustained laughter was the key to his recovery.

On average, adults laugh 15 times a day. Some experts believe that If we could up that number, it would have a positive impact on cardiac risk.
You can do that by cultivating friends who smile and joke, putting playfulness into your relationships and leaving work concerns at the office.

Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
ABSOLUTELY! I come from a family of "funny people" and finding the humor in stressful situations has been vital in my life.

I try to bring humor into my house as often as possible - breaking into song, putting a diaper on my head, pretending that dinner is made from play-doh - whatever it takes to make a 3 and 6 year old crack up. My girls frequently say "We have the silliest mom".

Thanks for a great post. You've inspired me - I'm going to buy 4 hula hoops at the dollar store today. When we all try to shake it tonight, I do not doubt there will be some laughs.


P.S. Did you know that there is "humor therapy "? It uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing.
surastogi responded:
I totally agree with you. Laughter is a stress buster in every-bodies life. Nothing is better than a old comedy movie or a long chat with your close friend . It behaves life a stress buster and reduces the level of Cortisol,GH and norepinephrine.
Stress hormones act by mobilizing energy from storage to muscles, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate and shutting down metabolic processes such as digestion, reproduction, growth and immunity.
Constant stress can lead to many long them implications:
A depletion of energy storage
High blood pressure
Stress-induced hypertension
Effects on metabolic processes
Ulcers (digestion)
Hampered growth
Decrease in testosterone levels in males and irregular menstrual cycles in females.
Increased likelihood of infectious diseases.
In easy words if a person wants to understand the implications it will be that Stress will decrease the life span of a person.Spending time with the family not only helps to understand family members better , it also brings them close.

Laughter is also a great exercise for those figure conscious people around . It is a fun exercise to tone the muscles and is a great calorie burner.
EzraAbishai responded:
Proverbs 17:22GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
22A joyful heart is good medicine,
but depression drains one's strength.

amazing that we're finally catching up in our "practice" of medicine to the awareness of someones original design and understanding...
Nice to see the acknowledgment though.

God Bless you with a good laugh!!


Helpful Tips

Nix Grapefruit & Statin DrugsExpert
Grapefruit & statin drugs can be a bad combination. Unlike other citrus fruits, grapefruit contains substances that disable certain ... More
Was this Helpful?
16 of 18 found this helpful

Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center