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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the best medicine … we've all heard this sentiment, but is there any truth to it? It would be hard to find a person who hasn't laughed so hard they had tears in their eyes, or had a sore stomach after a particularly long laughing fit. We all feel amazing after a good laugh, but is there any actual medical benefit to laughing? Fortunately, the answer is YES.

It turns out laughter helps reduce pain and makes us a little more able to tolerate discomfort. Have you ever had a shot and listened to a corny joke from the nurse? Yup, they know a little laughter will make the process easier. Laughter can also reduce blood sugar levels (which increases glucose tolerance in diabetics and nondiabetics). A good hearty laugh will help your blood vessels function better. It acts on the inner lining of those blood vessels which causes them to relax and expand. This increases blood flow – which is a good thing for both your heart and your brain.

Cardiologists aren't 100% sure how laughter delivers a benefit to your heart… it could be the action of laughter causes of diaphragm muscles to move, or the release of hormones (like endorphins) that have a positive effect on our arteries.

In a less clinical capacity, laughter flat out makes us smile, and restores a positive emotional climate. It can create a connection between two people. Some scientists think the health benefits from laughter may come from the social support that laughter brings about. And the best part is, the science behind laughter and it's positive effects is true across all generations, from those young to those young-at-heart.

So here's a little medicine for you today:
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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