Physical and Occupational Therapy

Stress Relief From Laughter


LOL….hahaha…., all jokes aside, laughter is great for your health!  Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

So what exactly is laughter? Laughter is the physiological response to humor. Laughter consists of two parts — a set of gestures and the production of a sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both those activities simultaneously. When we laugh heartily, changes occur in many parts of the body, even the arm, leg and trunk muscles.

Will a small chuckle do? If your sense of humor is as dry as the Sierra dessert then something is better than nothing.  Start small…a smile, giggle, chuckle, then work your way into a nice harty belly laugh.  A British study shows how just 15 minutes of harty laughter can increase pain tolerance by around 10 percent as a result of endorphins being released in the brain. These endorphins cause something akin to a natural “high”, leading to pleasant feelings of calm, as well as temporary pain-relief. ( Ejaz Khan,

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