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New study finds anticipating a laugh reduces our stress hormones
Date:4/7/2008

s at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-APS.org/press), part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference.

The Study

Having found that the anticipation of a laughter event increased certain beneficial chemicals/hormones, they proposed that the anticipation of a laughter event might reduce stress hormones. To test their theory they studied 16 healthy fasting male volunteers for cortisol and catecholamine level changes. The participants were assigned to either the control group or the experiment group (those anticipating a humorous event).

Blood was drawn from both groups prior to the event (anticipation), four times during the event, and three times afterward (event and residual effect). Analysis showed that the blood levels in the anticipatory phase decreased for stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and dopac in the experimental group. Trend analysis showed a progressive pattern of the decrease for the three hormones through the event.

As a result, the researchers suggest that anticipating a positive event can decrease stress hormones that can be detrimental when chronically released. These findings have implications to understanding the modalities that can benefit stress reduction in health and wellness programs.

The Biology of Hope

Norman Cousins was a journalist and an editor of the Saturday Review. He was also a pioneer in the idea that beliefs, thoughts and emotions have biological effects (biotranslation). His view about the bodys unrecognized ability to heal itself was captured in his 1979 book, Anatomy of an Illness (As Perceived by the Patient).

Forty years ago, few scientists would likely have agreed with Cousins. Today, researchers like Berk are beginning to pinpoint exactly what thoughts can drive which affects. Researchers like Berk are finding that, in addition to what resides i
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Contact: Donna Krupa
DKrupa@the-aps.org
619-525-6202
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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