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Laughter Really is the Best Medicine!

What if you could significantly reduce your stress response with a simple activity? Would you do it? Give yourself the gift of laughter and enjoy some added healthful benefits!

When you laugh, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system or PNS. This system creates a shift in your body away from the flight or fight response associated with stress and the sympathetic nervous system or SNS. The PNS is what allows your body to relax, rest, and repair. The late Norman Cousins helped to pioneer laughter research. What his team discovered is that laughter boosts immunity, increases oxygen intake, and reduces pain.

Immunity: laughter stimulates an increase in "natural killer cells" throughout the body. These cells are essential in fighting infections and eliminating damaged or cancerous cells.

Oxygen: laughter encourages deep diaphragmatic breathing taking in more oxygen rich air. The harder you laugh, the greater the reward. So go ahead, laugh until your face turns red!

Pain relief: laughter releases 'feel good' endorphins in the brain, your body's own natural morphine. This is why laughter makes you feel so good! Have you ever noticed how relaxed you are after a good laugh? Thank you endorphins!

If laughing doesn't come easily to you, follow these 3 tips to improve your funny bone:

1.) Increase Exposure: just like exercise, you have to do it to receive the health benefits. Find what triggers you to laugh and commit to exposure. (YouTube videos of babies laughing can be a great resource). Go on, try it, laugh a little!

2.) Lighten Up: try to not take yourself too seriously. It's true what they say, "laugh and whole world laughs with you." It's important to recognize the stress response in ourselves and make a conscious shift to the sunnier side of the street.

3.) Company: surround yourself with friends and family that will be silly and joke around with you. Laughter is infectious! Thank goodness!

Acupuncture also stimulates the PNS, reducing the stress response in the body. 

Schedule your appointment today! 

Stress relief acupuncture