With our upcoming Comedy Night in collaboration with The PureGame (more details on the event below) we wanted to dive into the topic of laughter therapy and the surprising benefits!
We all know laughter makes us feel good, but what are the biological mechanisms at work behind the scenes?
BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
MAKES YOU HAPPY
As our face shifts into a smile our brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for happiness. Studies have shown that the brain cannot distinguish between genuine laughter and forced laughter suggesting that even without a funny stimuli we can laugh of our own accord and still receive all the benefits!
NATURAL PAIN RELIEF
Dopamine also stimulates the secretion of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. A study in 2011 used extreme cold as a measure of pain tolerance. Half of the participants were exposed to laughter therapy while sitting in the extreme cold environment while the control group did not receive any kind of therapy. The group who laughed throughout the experience recorded higher levels of pain tolerance. More studies have shown that patients who watched comedy videos needed less pain medication than those who did not.
Laughter also stimulates the production and secretion of nitric oxide. This causes an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body further aiding in the reduction of pain and boosting the immune system.
BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM
Our immune system houses T-cells all throughout the body which lay waiting for stimulation. Laughter activates these T-cells and provides an immediate boost to the immune system!
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Laughter increases oxygen intake providing more oxygen to the blood. High blood pressure is also closely linked to high stress levels. The natural anti-stress relief of laughter has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure levels. A six month study in 2011 by the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions studied the effects of music versus laughter on lowering blood pressure levels.
Participants were separated into either a laughter therapy group of music therapy group. Directly after therapy sessions the music therapy group showed reduced blood pressure levels by 6 mmHg whereas the laughter therapy group blood pressure levels were reduced by 7 mmHg. Three months after the study the participants blood pressure levels were measured again. The study found that the participants who received laughter therapy had sustained their lower blood pressure levels whereas the participants exposed to music therapy reverted back to their previous blood pressure levels.
By simply indulging in some laughter, studies have shown it can enhance oxygen- rich air intake, boost the circulatory system, stimulate heart and lungs, balance blood pressure, ease digestion, improve memory and alertness, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and strengthen social bonds.
IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
In 2009, a study in Medical Hypotheses found that laughter increased flow-mediated vasodilation (how well blood vessels dilate and contract). In other words, during and after laughter blood flowed better throughout the body. Adding to this, the American Heart Association states that laughter can reduce inflammation in arteries and lead to increased production of the “good” cholesterol known as HDL.
Laughter can actually decrease levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. These decreased stress hormones paired with the increased production of dopamine can lead to a significant reduction in overall stress.
In response to the incredible power of laughter new therapies like Laughter Therapy of Laughter Yoga have been developed and are used as additional treatments for patients with diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression etc. For those without any serious illnesses Laughter Therapy is amazing for general health and stress management.
THE PUREGAME COMEDY NIGHT
We will be hosting a Comedy Night (featuring America’s Got Talent Star Vicki Barbolack) in celebration of our long-term relationship with The PureGame. For those who may not be familiar with The PureGame they utilize the game of soccer to connect with children throughout Orange County and work to teach children life changing skills like: communication, conflict resolution, self-control, optimism, self-esteem, etc.
“Pure Game is a nonprofit organization that provides “Field Champions” to help children develop character through experiential learning. Pure Game’s character education curriculum is facilitated through the game of soccer.
The beauty and uniqueness of the Pure Game system is that we use the most popular sport in the world to teach kids how to break free from their current circumstances and negative mindsets. We promote a life-changing message of growth and empowerment that helps develop every aspect of a child’s life through inclusion and affirmation.
Vulnerable children are asking the same questions as the rest of us. . . “Am I good WHY copy enough?”, “Do I fit in?”, and “Have I got what it takes?” Sadly, there are few positive sources. This leads most of them to associate and connect with that which is familiar. They will follow whoever and whatever surrounds them, and that is typically the bad influencer. Pure Game is seeking to break this cycle.
Pure Game offers cooperative soccer programs to organizations working with vulnerable WHY children. These programs are generally 10-weeks in length and include the Pure Game STAR & SOCCER character education curriculum. Throughout the STAR & SOCCER system the children will learn about positive values and how to apply them to their daily lives. We establish safe environments for children to be encouraged and motivated. This creates a platform to demonstrate to the children their actions have consequences (good and bad).”
To celebrate The PureGame’s 10 Year anniversary our Comedy Night with Vicki Barbolack will be raising funds to support The PureGame’s outreach program.
What: A night full of laughter with America’s Got Talent Star Vicki Barbolack. Facial Lounge Founder and Owner, Amber Johnson, will be Vicki’s opening act with her own comedy set followed by a full comedy show by Vicki! The event will also include a silent auction featuring items like a signed baseball bat by Angel’s player Mike Trout, signed jersey by Andrelton Simmons, luxury spa gift basket from Facial Lounge, high-end wines and spirits, Wilson Creek wines and more! Food and drink will also be available for purchase.
When: Sunday, March 24th, 2019 from 6:00P.M. – 10:00P.M.
Where: Campus JAX – 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Tickets: Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite for $34 per person (includes one free drink per ticket) Click here to buy your tickets now!
We cannot wait for you to join us in this laughter-filled night of celebration for the amazing work The PureGame is doing within our local community!
Advances in Physiology Education
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
American Heart Association
American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions
Proceedings of the Royal Society