What Makes Laughter the Best Medicine?

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Laughter has a real beneficial effect on your physical health, according to research. In the study, subjects were observed as they watched both serious movies and comedies. During the comedies, their arteries dilated and their blood pressure dropped, suggesting that laughter can in fact be a powerful medicine indeed.

The study looked at 20 healthy participants with an average age of 33. The results showed for the first time that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. It appears to cause the endothelium, which is the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.

The study also showed that the opposite effect occurred when the subjects watched suspenseful films, suggesting a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.

A separate study also found that viewing a humorous film may be helpful for the study and treatment of local IgE production and allergy in the reproductive tract.

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Finding Dulcinea April 1, 2009
Journal Psychosomatic Research February 2009; 66(2):173-5

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