The results are in and the news is good: Laughter is indeed an effective non-medicated way to improve your health. According to Beverly Bender, MA, and certified Laugh Leader (and a graduate of the University of Stop Acting Your Age), laughter can:
* Strengthen the immune system * Relieve stress and prevent buildup of negative tension * Improve lung capacity * Reduce pain * Relax muscles * Allow vibrating muscles to give you an internal massage * Improve your sense of humor * Brighten your outlook on life!
Visit Bev's website at www.laughter4all.com to learn more reasons to laugh. Or, as Bev encourages, laugh for no reason at all --that's good for you too.
If you're still a little skeptical that a chuckle a day can keep the doctor at bay, visit the website of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, www.aath.org. AATH is "an international community of professionals who incorporate humor into their daily lives. AATH is the leader in providing evidence-based information about current research and practical applications of humor."
According to an article in the June 2008 issue of Prevention Magazine (Your Brain on Laughter), laughter is also good for your brain. Author Thomas Crook, PhD, says that humor "yields important neuropsychological benefits." Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe the brains of study subjects as they tried to understand verbal jokes. What the researchers found was that the areas of the brain important to learning and understanding were activated as the study subjects mulled over the meaning of the punchlines. In other words, their brains were getting a workout just like they would from doing brainteasers and puzzles. Read the whole article at www.prevention.com (search "laughter").
In case you haven't had your daily dose of laughter yet today, I offer these quotes about aging from the book, Age Happens:
Old age is like underwear; it creeps up on you. --Lois L. Kaufman
I'm at an age where my back goes out more than I do. --Phyllis Diller
Despite the cost of living, it's still quite popular. --Laurence J. Peter