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Laughing and Health

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About Laughter: By Alex Krone People say laughter is one of the best kinds of medicine. It will cure all kinds of illnesses. Laughter can create a lot of things; a healthy heart, a good working or social environment, and relieve stress. Laughter is caused by: jokes, tickling, etc. Animals also can laugh, for example the laughing hyena. The study of laughter is called gelotology. Laughter is caused by the epiglottis constricting the larynx, causing respiratory to get upset. When you laugh you use around fifteen muscles. Every time you

have a good laugh, you burn up to 3.5 calories. Laughing is not only fun, but also an exercise. Laughter is not humor. Laughter is the response to humor. There are two parts of laughter. One is the physical gestures and the other is the production of the sound. When we laugh the brain causes us to use our arms and our vocal cords. The definition of laughter is “rhythmic, vocalized expiratory and involuntary� according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. When we are laughing really hard

sometimes your tear ducts are activated. Robert Provine is an expert on laughter. He discovered that all laughter consists of short notes repeated every 210 milliseconds. Provine also discovered that laughter is contagious because when you hear somebody else laughing it triggers neural circuits in your brain which causes you to laugh. Today laughter is a sign of trust in your friends.

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Laughter Studies There are some very interesting statistics and studies on laughter. Here are some I found on www.robinthompson.com . The average preschooler laughs and smiles 400 times a day. That number drops 15 times a day when you

reach 35 years old. When you laugh you release a chemical called endorphins. This chemical is 10 times more powerful than morphine. Morphine is a pain relieving drug. The next study is if you have a really good laugh you can burn up to 3.5 calories.

Scientists at the University of Maryland have come up with that laughter is linked to healthy blood vessels. Laughter causes the endothelium to expand to increase blood flow. Philosopher John Morreall thinks that the first human laughter may have started as a gesture of shared relief after danger.


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Five Types of Laugher The five types of laugher are: belly laughter, silent laughter, pigeon laughter, nervous laughter, etiquette laughter. Belly laughter is the most genuine type of laughter. It doesn’t happen very often because you have to find something really funny. This could be the most healthy because you are laughing really hard which would burn calories, and it boosts your self-esteem. Men when they belly laugh, grunt. Women when they belly laugh are more giggly. Silent laughter has the same benefits as

belly laughter because it is the same type of breathing, but it is not heard. It is a type of laughter used in Yoga. This helps you get less stressed out. Pigeon laughter is when you keep your lips closed. Its called pigeon laughter because it sounds like pigeons. Nervous laughter is caused by stress. Some people use this laugh to reduce stress and settle down. It is also called fake laughter. Etiquette laughter is used to be nice. You tend to laugh at high placed people. For example if your teacher tells a

The Science of Laughter

joke you tend to laugh at it.

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Laughter helps boosts tem helps produce laughyour immune system. A test was ter. We laugh because our done where they put serotonin in brains encounter patterns they a test tube with cancer cells, don’t and the cancer cells were recog“Dad always thought laughter killed. The limbic system is nize was the best medicine, which I involved in laughter. The and in guess is why several of us died limbic system is part of the the of tuberculosis. ~Jack Handey, brain that is involved in process "Deep Thoughts," Saturday emotions. The limbic sysof unNight Live”

derstating the pattern your bodies physiological response is to laugh involuntarily. Humans start laughing at the age of four months from tickling.

Not a Joking Matter Matt makes a lot bad jokes. He likes to make fun of people because of their differences. He thinks he is the life of the party, but really nobody thinks they are funny. When people listen to his racist jokes they usually don’t laugh. This would lower his self -esteem. With people not laughing at his jokes he usually starts to make even more racist jokes and more often out of frustra-

tion. Do you think Matt will live a healthier life with his jokes or a less healthier life? What kind laughter is he producing?

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Life of the Party Frank is a 40 year old business man and also a funny guy. He likes to tell a lot of good jokes. None that are hurtful to others. When Frank is really stressed out he likes to go to a joke book to get a good chuckle. This helps relieve Frank’s stress. Once he learns these jokes he spreads them along the office. He helps people have a good belly laugh, one of the best kinds of laughter. These jokes helps create a good working environment. He has noticed that his blood pressure has lowered. This gives Frank a lesser chance

of getting a heart disease. Frank is feeling a lot better about himself because of all of the smiling and laughter he is getting. What kind of laughter is Frank producing? Will Frank live a healthy life?

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Etiquette Laughter.

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“A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods. ~Author unknown, from an editorial in New York Tribune, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren”

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For more information go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31802854/ns/health-behavior/, or http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=106&sid=9d38c424 -f270-4515-acc72c863ab6b53c%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2 ZQ%3d%3d#db=hxh&AN=44981440, is one of the school’s databases. http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm

Bibliography http://web.ebscohost.com, November 2009, Natural Health, 11/17/09 www.umm.edu, July 14, 2009, University of Maryland, 11/18/09 http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm health.howstuffworks.com, Brain, Marshall. "How Laughter Works." 01 April 2000. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/humannature/emotions/other/laughter.htm> 23 November 2009. Edmonds, Molly. "5 Different Types of Laughter." 04 June 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/humannature/emotions/happiness/science/5-types-of-laughter.htm> 23 November 2009. www.psychologytoday.com, published on November 01, 2000 - last reviewed on April 11, 2005, Psychology Today, 11/22/09, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200011/the-sciencelaughter /www.nytimes.com, March 13, 2007, New York Times, 11/22/09, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13tier.html


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