Laughter as Medicine For Breast Cancer Recovery

Friday, November 18, 2011

Laughter as Medicine 
For Breast Cancer Recovery
By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500
Physical & Emotional Health 
I want to share my feelings on laughter and joy as part of the healing cycle of breast cancer recovery, and for that fact many other conditions. I know that laughter has a real beneficial effect on our physical, and emotional health. Laughter will literally melts stress away, so why aren’t we laughing more to relieve all the stress and improve our health? It may be a bit of a challenge to get out of our own way. To often we take life, and our circumstances to seriously and it really doesn’t serve us to do so.  I know for myself when I stop and watch anything funny I focus only on “funny”.  
Medical Research on Laughter 
Studies at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, March 7, 2005 has one of the most ground breaking results in terms of laughter’s role in the health of the mind and body.  There is a strong connection between blood vessel expansion (vasodilation) through laughter. Improvement to the blood flow after laughter is equal to a 15-30 minute workout. Researchers believe laughing causes the body to release beneficial chemicals called endorphins, or “natural pain killers.” The release of endorphins contribute to a sense of well-being and will counter act the effects of stress hormones, and cause the dilation of the blood vessels. Even anticipating laughter can increase endorphin levels, and help boost the immune system. All which will reduce inflammation in the body. 
Laughter for Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy
When going through chemotherapy or radiation laughing can only help. The best part of laughing is that it puts us in a positive state of mind, and that is exactly what’s needed to bring us through the physical and emotional roller coaster ride of breast cancer. Another key feature of laughter is that it moves lymph fluid around the body at a biophysical level.  Just by “over laughing”; that robust, gut explosive laughter is healing. Our immune system function is stimulated by laughter, it literally clears out old, dead waste and toxins from our organs and muscle tissue. It is important that we understand that our lymph system doesn’t have it’s own pump; we need to move around (and breath deeply) in order to properly circulate lymph. Laughter supports this function.
Important to Stay Positive and Laugh
The more we laugh the happy we will become and through the laughter we will develop a positive attitude towards everything. Even if there are times where we don’t feel it, we need to fake it. It has been shown that even when manipulated to smile people in truth feel happier. Laughter stops depression right in its tracks and boosts our immunity.
Use Laughter as Our Medicine?
We know now is the time to pull out all the stops and help ourselves get better. We need to reduce our levels of chronic stress (our journey with cancer may have just begun), we need to boost our immune system function, protect our nervous system, and my God our sanity. Well, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” 

I cannot say enough about laughing, right down to the fact that the people around us will enjoy our company which will support our well being.  Go check out funny videos; YouTube is full of funny.  Rent funny movies. I guarantee a lot of laughter.

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