The Oldest – and Easiest – Way to Soothe Pain, Cut Stress and Boost Your Immune System
Imagine a pill that could stop chronic pain… cut stress… strengthen your immune system… and maybe even promote heart health. A pill with a safe track record going back thousands of years. And one that’s absolutely free.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, I can’t give you this pill. But – believe it or not – you’re about to discover something free that does all those things. The secret goes back about 40 years…
Norman Cousins was a respected journalist who covered some of the most important stories of the last century. Sadly, he developed heart trouble at a young age. Then was struck with a serious and painful joint condition. His doctors didn’t hold out much hope.
But Cousins didn’t just accept what the doctors told him. The journalist in him took over, and he researched endlessly. And his research convinced him of one thing: Laughter is essential to human health.
You see, Cousins’ pain prevented sleep. But he discovered that watching the Marx Brothers – who he found endlessly funny – relieved his pain. In fact, watching just 10 minutes let him sleep peacefully for two hours. It was a strange prescription, but laughter led to restful, healing sleep.
Most doctors rejected Cousins’ “crazy” ideas. But he outlived their predictions by many years. He also convinced a few researchers to study laughter seriously. And what they discovered could change your life.
Among these pioneers were doctors at California’s Loma Linda University. One of their earliest studies revealed that laughter leads to lower levels of cortisone, epinephrine (adrenaline), and other hormones linked to stress.1 Laughter worked like magic. Men watched a funny video… and their stress hormone levels dropped.
Loma Linda researchers also tested laughter’s effects on the immune system. The results were just as amazing. After men watched a one-hour humorous video, their levels of certain protective cells shot way up. Even 12 hours later, some of the levels were still high.2
A team at Indiana State University found similar results – for both stress hormones and immune cell activity.3 Research backs up Norman Cousins’ pain claims, too. Even people with serious conditions are less bothered by pain when they laugh.4
And here’s another good reason to laugh: It just may help your heart. A study at the University of Maryland found laughter may support higher production of nitric oxide (NO).5 this is important for overall cardiovascular health, because NO relaxes your blood vessels – promoting better circulation.
So if you’re feeling stressed… a little physically beat… or even a little blue, take a break to watch a silly movie or stand-up comic. Read a book that makes you laugh out loud. Or get together with your funniest friends. A little laughter could be just what the doctor ordered.
But the story doesn’t end here.
It’s been 30 years since mainstream medicine dismissed Cousins’ book, “Anatomy of an Illness.” And we’re still discovering ways he was right. In fact, a brand-new study shows that laughter may help with one of our toughest medical issues.
You see, many older patients, people who’ve suffered loss, or those in severe pain completely lose their appetite. They literally waste away. And it’s not easy to get someone with no appetite and no desire to eat.
But laughter promotes changes in two key appetite hormones: leptin and ghrelin. In people who watched a short humorous video, leptin levels went down and ghrelin levels went up.6
Here’s why this could be important. Leptin suppresses appetite and ghrelin stimulates it. So helping people laugh could also help them eat. And that could reverse the wasting process. In other words, laughter could prove to be – quite literally – a lifesaver.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Berk LS, et al. Neuroendocrine and stress hormone changes during mirthful laughter. Am J Med Sci. 1989 Dec;298(6):390-6.
2 Berk LS, et al. Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during the eustress of humor-associated mirthful laughter. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Mar;7(2):62-72, 74-6.
3 Bennett MP, et al. The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Mar-Apr;9(2):38-45.
4 Christie W and Moore C. The impact of humor on patients with cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2005 Apr;9(2):211-8.
5 Miller M and Fry WF. The effect of mirthful laughter on the human cardiovascular system. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Nov;73(5):636-9. Epub 2009 May 27.
6 See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113058.htm.