You watch a favorite old comedy movie… you laugh at a TikTok video... you meet a funny friend for coffee... and afterward you just feel better. That's because laughter is more than just fun -- it actually has some major health benefits. Dr. David Friedman — a Chiropractic Neurologist, Doctor of Naturopathy, and Clinical Nutritionist who claims he's the only holistic doctor who leaves his patients in stitches -- tells us all about why laughter is the best medicine.
First of all - a good chuckle may lower stress levels
You may have heard of cortisol — it’s known as the stress hormone, and notorious as the enemy of contentment. Well, scientific studies have shown that laughing reduces cortisol levels. This is great because stress is linked to diabetes and obesity and cancer and heart disease. So when you laugh and you reduce stress, you’re doing your health a world of good. And when times are tough and you don’t feel like laughing, great news — your brain doesn't know the difference between a fake laugh and a real laugh giggle. So you can fool the brain. Doctor Friedman’s orders — fake it till you make it.
Laugh our way to a boosted immune system
The Journal of Rheumatology actually found that laughing decreases inflammation and increases infectious fighting antibodies. There's another interesting study by the International Journal of Molecular Medicine that shows these “good cells” were higher in a test group that was watching funny videos, compared to a group that wasn’t.
Laughter can help fight heart disease
Experts say the number one cause of death in America is heart disease. Doctors tell you to eat right and exercise, and while those are great, Dr. Friedman says we may need to add laughing to that because according to the International Journal of Cardiology, there's an inverse reaction between laughter and cardiovascular disease. So meaning the more you laugh, the less likely you are to have stroke or heart disease.
Moving along with how laughter may help combat cancer.
The number two cause of death in America is cancer. And according to the Complimentary Alternative Medical Journal, laughter actually destroys cancer cells. So the next time you giggle, laugh or snort you may be preventing cancer.
Finally let's chat about how giggles may be beneficial to our brain health
MRI studies showed something that astonished Dr. Friedman — when you laugh, it actually stimulates the cognitive part of the brain that helps you remember. As an example, he tells you to think about commercials. The ones you remember the most, are the ones that made you laugh. When you laugh, it actually increases the synapses of the frontal brain, and increases memory and cognitive function.
We’re staying healthy and happy with a heaping helping of humor.