Laughter is the Best Medicine

Being Well  211: Humor and Health

without her developed saying that
laughter is the best benefit welcome back to the simpson than that this week on being well doctor fritz
have enough time department of health studies will be
joining me to talk about the bulk of them are and states insulin how a little after every
day might be just what the doctor ordered all rich thanks for coming and being
well and relax a little bit today or tomorrow
about why that might benefit our health what’s our first tell us a little bit
what is your background and as it relates to humor in hell well upper story thanks for asking me
it’s a pleasure to be here uh… i did my dissertation for my p_h_d_ on
human health that was the focus at what i was looking at quality of life issues and uh… looking at eastern faculty as a matter of fact i had a long interest in in humor uh… going back because my father was a
a kind of a storyteller and he could uh… was very good at it he would tell stories of a disk is
laughing so hard or our sides were eighteen and you know it felt really
good you know particularly after a a separate which we needed some digestive assistance which by the way you helps
with that and uh… and my mother uh… who passed away recently and i i wrote a
eulogy and i a m wrote in that my mother wasn’t a storyteller she was
in the job person but in many ways she was uh… the person will recover humor from
because she never heard anyone with it and she could laugh another job and she
than mine uh… someone pokey little fi matter she was able to take a joke
wellness sort of thing so um… we’ll both parents are they contributed
to my love of humor and interest in knowing a little bit more about it in
this wasn’t you know happy go wrong with humor to study for
dissertation on it so it tell us a little but you actually
teach some seminars in some courses related to humor i’ve done some workshops uh…
and uh… actually i’m also working on creating a regular lou regular offering unit eastern from our
department on human health but i’ve done a couple
of several workshops over the years uh… i did one just this past spring as
a matter of fact in his grown from a one semester hour to the two semester hour and we have such a good time and did you
know uh… and that there is the route reason it’s grown from one to
two semester hours is there just a plethora of new research in findings out there
with finding more more out every day if we get an opportunity in in our
interview i did bring a little bit of information about some of the latest
research so um… i i’m the only teaches a so far but i
think anyone in our department would be good it is you know sometimes
requirement so you know they had it says if you have a entirely we’re gonna talk
about some of the data shows that house humor can help our health but why don’t you first get this an idea of
where i think this whole the research area warren help or did
that start it’s not just something that someone just made up no it’s been around
for awhile let me uh… uh… the real uh… emphasis on humor and health probably came out of amandime norman cousins norman cousins uh… now deceased was a
uh… uh… editor of the seventy review i
believe he was out very well-read person and very literate he’d gone to a foreign country and i think was russia
interviews and people aren’t we came back home he begin feeling very very bad and it turns out he had his disease
called enclosing spondylitis don’t ask me but i can’t spell it and uh… everything that doctors tried all the
traditional ste things treatments and diagnoses and all
the sort of thing and and methodologies didn’t work he had read somewhere that thinking
negatively you know can make you sick you know the
psychosomatic illness a couple well gosh maybe it works in reverse so he tm moralistic charge of his
condition and started watching marx brothers movies in groucho uh… you betcha marjan marjan brothers
candid camera things like this and he found that ten minutes of belly laughter you know
hard laughing just letting it all go would result in two hours of pain-free
sleep no pain killers so he wrote a book called anatomy of an illness as perceived by
the patient that was back in nineteen seventy nine and uh… that started off fuel of research calls
cycle neuroimaging ology i can spell that too it’s a long way crickets aka but it’s really the mind body spirit
commissioner and you know it’s research has been done all
over the country on this phenomenon of mind body spirit connection okay for years we’ve with all thought that humor is good for
us to know laughter is the best listener right that’s right uh… i can share with you for example there are there are things in the bible
proverbs america art does good like a medicine a brutal spirit dries the bone is also in proverbs uh… he that is ever mary hart half the continual feast the korean has a a uh… something in edwards uh… says he deserves paradise who
makes his companions laugh we can look throughout history even here
in in the heart of the our land we have native american tribes who actually had little ceremonial order of clowns so to speak in their
their job in the tribe is to make people laugh ’cause it made a better ok so we’ve long thought deep down felt led with jia
feels good it must be good for you i feel but after i laugh uh… some things funny i get something
out of it it’s it’s it’s like madison we’ve long felt that but now we have a
lot of scientific evidence and i mean really clinical stuff to back it up i could share with you later on some of
the things that have been done uh… to prove this let’s talk about what are some of that
physiological a fax what goes on in the body when you laugh
okay let’s think about it first thing you know in my workshop i actually have
people stand up and i say i don’t stop watch you know
what you don’t laugh for thirty seconds okay just thirty seconds and they’ll
look at me like relief yahoo light massive you know and and i
said you know what you may not feel like hearings funny but
go ahead and do it anyway for thirty six all-time highs so we do that and then after it’s not
what i say okay now what just happened and people describe the laughing you
know uh… oh process like well your your diaphragm is engaged yes what does
that do what your oxygen is going in a row warrior respiratory
rate goes up well your auction exchange so it’s an aerobic exercise infectivity his attorney in trouble
jogging not they’re referring to laughing ok sam
so physiologically you’re getting a good workout uh… there’s more boxes even the blood
your brain is engaged uh… people more creative they’re more uh… people to learn things uh… getting deeper down physiologically your
blood chemistry changes lieber aka stanley ten or famous
researchers at loma linda university in uh… california and they did a study in which they had a
control group who i guess we’re watching something
boring on television uh… and then another group that and
all of this program for sure and then another group was somewhere
else watching funny things just uproariously was gallagher and some
other things every ten minutes or so they come in
they’d take blood impeach person in the room and in both cases and they could makes saw remarkable difference in the blood
chemistry of those two groups of people who had
uh… uh… who are laughing they had a higher level of natural t_-cells next she’s been a trickle of cells t_-cells these cells uh… there are a-level of interferon
grew in are the words their blood this the part of the blood that uh…
fights diseases the immune system was actually strengthened they found that the saliva in your mouth we have a fought the virus firing their
call immuno globulin any talia first-line of defense against
uh… infectious diseases also changed and this is almost immediate reminds you did you have to wait for the
silicate uh… s fantastic things you know in
terms of research that was a physiological psychologically you do you feel better
curative gap people are generally find their list them out of depression i’m not talking about
clinical depression necessarily but certainly for having a down day and
being with a couple friends in eventually giggling and laughing and
everything you do feel a lot better so from a mental remember emotional
standpoint it lift your spirits uh… people tend to be more resilient they can take a little setback immune
only in fe if they have humor socially i mean who doesn’t want to be around
someone who he can laugh with n so you can wide because you feel like their approachable there not a threat uh… in this is a uh… i feel good
when i’m with him so um… and i could go on a long list tons of
them uh… that that happened the research is just condo linkedin find
out more about this now what do you say to people i have no
sense of him i don’t find anything funny uh… allowed by the red planet not you know i had that happen to be added
at a two-story quickly that was teasing the workshop is recent community college
and there was of friday night saturday it was just the one semester hour thing and are you going to a i warm up the kind of a icebreaker at the
beginning indian of this students are looking in the kind of in roseville so i thought okay let’s do this uh…
tell me uh… you name we have from waiting in the class and some something interesting about
yourself so if you look at a classroom you know
you get people across like this in the rose like
this so go down started as lady in the corner to my father said that with the interesting thing
about me as i don’t have a sense so i suppose i think you can no no no no idle a signal of p you do no we don’t find anything funny i
seminal work on you okay so we go back and forth back and forth
and then we get to the and the last person in the corner over here the interesting thing about him was that
he is taking this course with his ex-wife guess who the lady without correctly that’s a true
story and actually happened and at the end of the class the next day
she came up to see a smile on her face and she says well you know i think i do have a sense
of humor just be two hundred developing i said well meet we’ve helped you in
that regard so that leads to question it physiologically is there a difference
between unit reject me when laughter or if you just fake manufactured laughter i mean can you get
the same is a fake it you back at the same yes our yes
actually that’s true up to some degree i mean it’s not a hundred percent
foolproof but uh… you know you can if you if you look at the mirror
and use my own okay and you’re not feeling state did that day but you smile pretty soon you you’d mood changes same
thing with laughter you can get the same physiological benefits by just getting up and laughing you know for no reason just are laughing
and we’ll start feeling better some of the physiological changes will take place now again it’s not
hundred-percent method actors if there are preparing to do a scene
sometimes they after uh… maybe do a scene in which the
shocking so what they do they get in front of the
electricity from the fists and everything and pretty soon the
author and rian in the same thing follows with with um… with smiling in in laughter is a matter
of fact and there’s a song charlie chaplin row col
smile you know in common smiled and uh… in it he says if you’re feeling down smile pretty soon
you’re gonna feel differently right and pretty much it is it is true although again it’s not one hundred
percent i have to say humor is a wonderful
benefit is not a cure all week we don’t ever want to say uh… we can say for
example that that humor cures a disease but it is
very therapeutic right it can’t hurt extn hurt i’ve heard i think that’s not
t_v_ they’re sexually arm laughing klotz i think it started in
india where there’s people that just get
around mhm group that start my belief that started in the
union in uh… uh… bombay and linda and it was called the laughing clubs in
the indian have this article that i didn’t bring it today but i but it is now the united states uh… where and i think in san francisco
people get together and they just go and they start laughing and all kinds of
laughing about it basically they don’t need any reason the laugh
they just start laughing and it’s sort of like uh… you know
that morning exercise that people do it is after all aerobic but it helps them not only physically
but mentally helps reduce a stress in their lives it’s uh… similar i suppose to those
people who get together too tight she sarah in the morning so it’s kind of the same type of uh…
benefit that they have it’s hard to sit there not laugh but everybody around to
vote is a very contagious you know um… an acrobat in class we watch a uh…
from movie a part of a movie mary poppins and in the movie that is uh… uh… as a guy who uh… scenes i’d love to laugh repair lee has this who starts laughing
he just can’t stop and he starts to levitate and uh… he gets the other everybody else
laughing at all of prisoner all upon the on the ceiling you know in this in this
movie but when you when you hear the song i
left a laugh by the end of the saudi arabia’s
laughing is very contagious probably more contagious than a cold virus no about michael that’s a big hit only and when you and i talked about
doing the show we had talked are you had said you know humor you view that as part of a
holistic health muscular do you want to talk a little bit more
about that sure give me an opportunity to talk about holistic health in general the holistic health model basically
looks at dimensions of well being like for
example you have if physical health ok uh… mental emotional do you have intellectual well-being you
have environmental spiritual and social and when i the first night of class when
i’m when i’m holding the workshop first of all i’ll put up these large post-it notes right and put the six dimensions of well being
and then we walk around and start say trying to put down as many
characteristics or behaviors that are associated with
each one pretty soon we start seeing a pattern of
some overlap and in virtually every one somebody puts humor or laughter because if you think about what we’ve
already talked about the physical benefits we want to talk about the
psychological benefits we’ve already talked about the social
benefits intellectually when i get to the research businesslike
and i can tell you about uh… how people learn better or more creative as a result of utilizing human so in
each one of those of dimensions of well being we can find an area where we believe that humor helps us or or
laughter and that though and having said that those did those
dimensions while we can identify them as distinct they are also interconnected in one affects the other so for example if you start physical exercise program became you start going to the s_r_ see
every day and you know there’s the there’s the
physical component but then after a while you start using the same people precinct start talking and and now you have a social uh… benefit to that you know you made
friends ok things of that nature uh… he in the same vein alone uh… a beautiful sunny day and not humid just on my
seventy degree balmy day did that your whole disposition is so much better than the in the middle
of winter when it’s forty degrees below zero you know you know one can affect the other in
positive and negative ways that brings that holistic model yes at let’s talk
about research because there is a lot of new incur research in the role of humor his spirit is wanted
to share some of that i will i’m glad you have to have to bring it with me ho
uh… begin the runs the gamut of different types of things from very
clinical stuff like measuring it interleukin-6 and uh… different uh…
blood components uh… one i just went across this too
few weeks ago was laughter helps the blood vessels it contributes to heart health in the
following way state they did that uh… uh… some research in which they had a
group of people watching uh… s kinda scary movie or a movie that made them
tents uh… one they shd they talked about was
the opening scene to saving private ryan okay if you know what i’m talking about
that really tense uh… and then they’d watch some funny
movie and then we’ll see what was there a difference they found that uh… with a funny movie uh… there was a dilation of blood
vessels blood vessels relax ok this is a good
thing reduce the inflammatory response okay we
know that the inflammatory response is responsible for a lot of the hills that we have in life
okay released endorphins mccain endorphins are naturally occurring
chemicals if if you will never literal peptides
uh… and that is our natural painkillers and get this kind of a
little bit of uh… of a high i think the did to actual term itself endorphin
means indigenous morphine it’s it’s our own painkiller we produce and there’s more of them it produces
more and that goes into the bloodstream the rule was really interesting was the
inner lining of the blood vessels and how they measure that i have no idea but the endothelium is what it’s called they could tell but it was more resilient that it would less uh… jim wooten more stretching i guess would
read would dial a bet it’s easy okay edits a good thing in his case so uh… just just in the interesting
thing was uh… it’d be at appeared to be very
consistent and had similar benefits as aerobic
exercise or the use of cholesterol lowering staten
drugs but the differences it happened immediately and get the immediate
effects from human laughter you know groucho marx once said a clown
is like an ass but but he works twice as fast so and he’s right what else to defy ok
laughter and pain control ok well now cause them to go back to the orphan the endorphin in a minute but laughter thinker actually works in four
different ways one is distraction if you can get a person who is in pain
let’s say in the hospital but if you could distract them with something that
they find humorous they’re not even focusing on the pain
end they will not feels much pain as a matter of fact one of the things they do in hospitals
now is they have fewer cards which are these a cartoon if they’re all around the
people in the house things on the dvds or uh… uh… funny uh… teamsters things of that nature audio
tapes or whatever they want their patients to laugh because they will have them less use for
pain-killing drugs and they will recover quicker i think sounds like a good deal so end and again with distraction if you have a little little child in the following the that’ll be one in
the west first thing you do start reading it laughing extract them away
from them pretty soon be stopped stifling in everything goes away secondly uh… laughter reduces tension sophie role tensed up and an evening
because of pain in reduces that it also reduce the sensation of pain was particularly fits around the
area that’s in ship date we’ve already talked about releasing
more endorphins so that’s good at that and then uh… one thing that they found is that it’s laughter tends to he is the cycle one another
psychological benefit it changes a person’s expectations or
perceptions about things maybe a person this kind of feeling
sorry for them said because at the lowest me i’m in the hospital and
feeling that that changes and now they may be more
hopeful more positive more optimistic about the
positive outcome of whatever whether it surgery or danger you what heavy so changes those expectations from more negative two more positive okay what about humor and long jeopardy
doesn’t make us live longer a think about george burns yes in fact is that it’s not just a girl
yesterday uh… abided mobile uh… and look at how log house she
heard a lot and uh… and i’m sure if they were here today they would probably
agree with us that there is a there is a connection and there is uh… we’ll researchers have done what
they have with the press and they’ve determined that people not
only live longer but they live better while there living longer in other words
their quality of life is better increases the quality
of life for those years that they are living as used to your life that life to use
these to say a good example also you mentioned bob
hope in uh… george burns uh… there’s a man who many of our viewers
will will recognize when i say this name dr dallas price who is a local weather observer and
taught at least you for many many years and he passed away a year or two ago he
was about ninety six winnie whit and i had a the great pleasure and uh…
reward of being able to visit him leave the
senate uh… a nursing home here in town but every time i want to see him he always had the smiles phase he had something very humorous decision very witty man and alone lived a long time and even up until a
few days before his death he was very clear mind and very clear headed and had something humorous to say and i think that contributed not only to
this link for life but the quality of life that he had hasn’t been on this journey well when
you think about people who rule can easily laffer generally
positive he sure you know and that positive energy i think translates into other things life in and
you want to be around people yes definitely you know we don’t want to be around
negative people ’cause that tends to wear off and that’s one of the the
pieces of advice when we get to you know you’re going to ask me you know about
how can we in richard how can we put more human ally at that point one of
them is is don’t surround yourself with people you
enjoy right i go to work every day you’ve met doctor
sam and you know doctor fellows led by thoroughly we have a wonderful time in
and i really like pace quickens when i go to the guy and joi going in
there i enjoy seeing them i enjoy uh… interacting with them because
almost all always bring a smile to the to her face even when we’re doing serious stuff um… and uh… are are chair dr bates is a has a wonderful sense of humor very very creative and witty uh… doctor legato show one of our new
era factory members is a delightful sense of humor and as such a pleasure to be around them
because you can you just feel about kinship a closeness with them is trying to work and it seems like we’re just having a
good time but then what is learning something right but sometimes you can’t especially the
workplace or even in family life you can’t control sucked eyes who here work mates after their negative so how
do you enough for you on a corporate working american life but yet the people
around you any campus is fairly here and it down how do you yourself try to put yourself
past that glad you asked well you know you start
with simple stuff you first of all i think it’s important that we should
remember we don’t have to be stand-up comedians you don’t have to
know how to tell a joke and and and do thirty minutes on on a stand-up comic show so you start with simple things like
word humor pawns things of this nature uh… you uh… you you know humor is all around you if you know
where to look right a funny thing happened funny things
happen on a daily basis and that’s really the source of most humor it’s not someone coming in on a funny joke for
you it’s something happened to her son
observation right now that’s you can use props huh for example need today is one ninety
five out there and i got it at christmas time yeah so anything you know something like that uh… you can get them click cartoons people should kinda find out what makes them laugh
what kind of things make them laugh and go see criminal um… but again killers already renewable it
will v l humor is up here it’s how you perceive an event right let me give you a real good
example couple nights ago uh… friend of mine has these new i’ve focused you know and there’s this creature and their her
personally serie incorrect how you can talk to syria and syria will then make a text message
and that we’ve ever done gate yes well serious not maybe the most accurate correct listener
in the world and at what happened was this my friend
was uh… pointed send a message to his cousin liberty
close in the one to send the message so he dictated something in there and then he looked at the message he
just burst out laughing and i can’t repeat what i said but i think he was
totally different then what he you know wanted to say what we just got the laughing so hard it
was like ten minutes and i mean people crying faces were read and uh… he didn’t press send yeah that was a
good so we found out a save it and we can laugh at it later in the website out
there it’s called daren but not the word tara ect you know i’ll crack dot com energy all
sorts of things and sometimes when you need a laugh during the day you just go on their website and different just
named another thing you can do going angle is that you find something
you’re not around funny people find someplace exactly and actually people you know i’m not
saying you should spend four hours behind a computer laughing about things you have to get
some work done a little break every now and again actually makes you more productive uh… soul you know you your bosses and supervisors
shouldn’t be too concerned italian are spending hours on the internet well rex we’re out of time i want to
thank you for coming in and sharing some great information something that we
can all to do right now yes uh… i’d go to the other thing i would
have to say is that ok at a it’s it’s uh… the medicine that i’ve never fails is on the use of properly that’s ok
there is negative you know but we don’t have time to discuss that today pat buchanan thank you for joining us and q_v_c_ etc start laughing ok we couldn’t even get a
good excellent

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