Vitamin L: Laughter Truly is The Best Medicine For Health
A horse, a giraffe, and an aardvark walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “Why the long faces?”
Don’t we all love to laugh! It just feels good. It’s the best medicine. And there are wonderful benefits.
It’s easy, free, uplifting, improves health, and even saves lives. Besides, it’s funny.
Vitamin L Cures Dread Diseases
Laugh Your Way To Health.
Take the case of Norman Cousins. Diagnosed with the dread disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, he started watching funny movies and taking vitamins. He authored the book, “Laughter Is The Best Medicine,” after his astounded doctors declared him cured.
Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine
The Three Stooges To The Rescue.
Take the case of the man who laughed in the face of death—ha! ha!—and banished cancer.
Documented back in the 1980s, a man with terminal cancer, given the diagnostic death sentence “weeks to live,” decided to spend his last days laughing. Good choice. The more he laughed, the healthier he became. His “last days” went on and on, and he was declared, “full remission,” by those licensed to express such opinions, despite their perplexity.
Because of his case, people watched more Three Stooges and Marx Brothers shows. Sitcom viewership increased. Seems that people desire a good LOL. Nothing like the grape down the opera singer’s décolleté to elicit a good belly laugh.
Sociologists say that the Three Stooges helped America laugh its way out of the Great Depression. Maybe there’s something to laughter outside the doctor’s scalpel?
Today, anthropologists surmise that laughter serves humanity as an instinctive bonding element. Every tribe needs a comedian, every village needs an idiot, and every class needs a clown.
Many cultures’ oral traditions include stories of humor. “A rabbi, a shaman, and a priest sat by the campfire eating trunk of wooly mammoth … Ummm, good long face.”
Vitamin L. Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine
Science has determined for us that the best humor is when another person gets into a funny or awkward situation. We empathize and laugh. We get a rejuvenating dose of “Vitamin L.” Laughter truly is the best medicine
The victim laughs away their situation, such as sitting on an ant bed, yelping, and jumping around frantically – suddenly a new dance craze – instead of taking the faux pas to heart with chagrin and self-chastisement.
Others laugh in secret relief—“There, but by the grace of God goes my derrière!” Retelling the story brings contagious joy to others, and restores esteem to the guy with the ant bites on his bum.
Innate Pause That Refreshes.
Cultural mores demonstrate that it’s not polite to interrupt a person who’s speaking. Yet, cultures make an exception for laughter. Instinctively, humans place more importance on laughter than on silent politeness.
In fact, it’s incumbent upon the speaker to pause, to let others laugh.
Laughter is neurologically mysterious. Cat’s, hyenas, guinea pigs, civets, genets, mongooses, and raccoons purr. Doves coo and pigeons warble. Humans laugh. (Some even snort, chortle, and guffaw.)
Science Struggles To Find Laughter.
Science has had a difficult time locating the funny bone. Once thought to be the humorous—the bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow—that theory was discarded in favor of the rib-head because of its ticklishness. They quickly abandoned the tickly-rib approach in lieu of the bonehead above the shoulders.
With VS At. The power of laughter can be a two-edged sword when it’s used to cut someone down with ridicule. If you’ve ever engaged in that school-yard act of ostracism against another person, you’ll know that it doesn’t feel right. It leaves a sick feeling instead of joy.
Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine for Health: Adriana & The Giant Sneeze.
In second grade, Adriana was famous for her sneeze. It had a pinched balloon quality that squeeeeeaked at the end with an interminable doppler squeak.
The teacher posed a question to her, but she was unable to answer. She had a whopper of a sneeze brewing. But instead of her signature squeeeeeeak tapering off into infinity, she discharged a pint (seemed like a gallon) of viscous clear, mucous all over her desk. Stringing out her nose, running off the edges, sliming her fingers, running down her chin. (This was before the movie, Alien, attempted to upstage her.)
The class went into an uproar, and only the teacher’s shouting and slapping a yardstick on her desk brought the ruckus to an end. Then there was recess.
Adriana was mortified. Crushed. Suffering deep humiliation and shame.
Of course, the insensitive click of rowdy boys started making fun of her at recess with ridiculing laughter. They formed a conga line and pretended to sneeze goo all over the place. They exploited her misery for all it was worth by composing a song with the refrains of “looks like an ocean, but it’s-not, flows like a river, but it’s-not.”
Then the class clown got into the act.
He must have sensed her vulnerability, and the humiliating pain the ridicule was causing.
Taking her hand, he pulled her over to the schoolyard water fountain—a cement trough with four spouts. There, he enacted a skit with her to the gathering audience. He mimicked the teacher asking inane questions. And replied with a sputtering mouthful of water coming out his nose.
Imitating the teacher’s voice, he asked Adriana a question, “What’s one plus one?” She tanked up on water and spewed a nonsensical reply. This helped disguise her gushing tears. Then he replied, “That’s right, Adriana. You get an A+.”
“Now, complete this sentence, Adriana. “Say it, don’t spray …” Adriana replied by sputtering the word “it” and water everywhere.
Raucous laughter and hilarity rocked the gathering crowd. Adriana’s tears turned to mirth.
They did the routine a few times, laughing, cavorting and chasing by-standers. The upstaged rowdy boys joined in at the other spouts. Soon everyone wanted a turn answering a question, sputtering replies out their mouths and noses, and getting soaking wet.
The class clown turned the tide.
He made Adriana a hero of laughter and helped dispel her self-inflicted shame. No more fodder for childhood cruelty.
On re-entering the classroom, the teacher had paper towels for the wet-faced students. She gave a knowing wink to the class clown and whispered, “You get an A for citizenship. Now I need to see your math homework by Thursday because I’m going to call on you for the real answer to what’s one plus one.” Come Thursday, the class clown had, for the first time in a week, completed his homework.
Hearty Laughter: Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine for Health
Laughter sends brain energy firing a massive variety of neurons that launch neurotransmitter cascades and signals to the heart and blood vessels.
Real laughter is frequently a brain enema. It cleans out the neurological pipes of limited, repeated, stagnant thoughts and damaging emotions. It expands the heart and increases circulation.
Laughter launches cellular epigenetic responses and renews the mind and spirit.
A good cackle can help break health-detrimental, self-indulgent attitudes such as self-pity, depression, exasperation, boredom, futility, and blame.
Laughter—Important Part of Mating Rituals.
Humor (opportunities for laughter) is a top trait that women seek in a long-term relationship, according to scientific surveys.
In our current society, one might think that the ability to provide material goods (earning potential) or the ability to protect (muscles, physique) are essential traits. Yes, they do comprise the lower echelons of the top 20 qualities.
But a sense of humor trumps such traits, as does listening, caring, enthusiasm for what one does, and interest in being a good parent. And yes, romancing and satisfying reproductive skills also make the Top 20 Desirable Traits list, but sense-of-humor, listening, and caring are at the tippy top.
Fiancé to Fiancée: “A hilarious thing happened to me on the subway today, dear. I lost my pants while listening to Don’t Worry, Be Happy on a guy’s boom box—everyone laughed—and I came up with an idea for a new invention that’ll make us millions. Here’s the slogan: No diminution with the invisible suspenders’ solution! What do you say?”
Fiancée to Fiancé: “I do.”
Laugh For Your Heart Today.
Sometimes it seems that laughter is a rare commodity. The news media shoves “if it bleeds, it leads” stories in our faces. People with hidden agendas flaunt injustices and prejudices far beyond their original intent. The President incites ire via “bull in the china shop” tweets. Insults abound. Marketers prey upon imagined fears.
It seems we all need an antidote to the daily heart disease of taking ourselves too seriously.
Get Your Vitamin L Vaccination Today.
Humor abounds. Can you find a dose or two?
Besides living longer, laughter makes you lighter.
I love this article. I’m the guy who’s always in trouble for laughing at the wrong place/wrong time. Now, I have an excuse… It’s medicine!
I love the blend of scientific research, life examples, and bits of humor thrown in. It reminded me to make laughter a part of each day:-)