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Just the expectation of a mirthful laughter experience boosts endorphins 27 percent, HGH 87 percent

"Mirthful laughter diminishes the secretion of cortisol and epinephrine, while enhancing immune reactivity. In addition, mirthful laughter boosts secretion of growth hormone, an enhancer of these same key immune responses. The physiological effects of a single one-hour session viewing a humorous video has appeared to last up to 12 to 24 hours in some individuals," Berk noted, " while other studies of daily 30-minute exposure produces profound and long-lasting changes in these measures.

Next steps to seek physiological linkage mechanisms

In addition, Berk noted: "An area we will pursue is the modulation and change in Th1 and Th2 cytokine and inflammatory immune responses to the anticipation and experience of the positive mood state changes associated with mirthful laughter."

Future research in this area with more subjects "needs to elaborate these findings in psychoneuroimmunology understanding and the mechanism linkage modulation between anticipatory positive behaviors and neuroendocrine and immune responses," Berk said. "It may sound corny but we in the health care medical sciences need to 'get serious about happiness' and the lifestyle that produces it, relative to mind, body and spirit and its biotranslation," he added.

"Why do you think Reader's Digest has claimed that 'Laughter is the Best Medicine' for so many years?" Berk concludes.


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Source:American Physiological Society


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