A merry heart makes good medicine

A merry heart makes good medicine
Nellie du Toit

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Laughter and serotonin levels

Laughing releases serotonin, increases T cells, increases endorphins and improves the immune system.

Laughter operates on at least three different levels. They are the biophysical, the biochemical, and the bioenergetic levels.                                                                                                                 Laughter moves lymph oxygenates your organs
                                     At the biophysical level, laughter moves lymph fluid around your body simply by the convulsions you experience during the process of laughing; so it boosts immune system function and helps clear out old, dead waste products from organs and tissues. Remember that your lymph system doesn't have a separate pump; your body needs to move around to properly circulate lymph fluid so that your immune system can carry out its natural functions. Laughter is a great way to support that.
Secondly, laughter increases oxygenation of your body at both the cellular and organ level. By laughing, you intake vast amounts of oxygen in huge gulps, and you repeat this process in a sort of temporary hyperventilation session. This is the natural result of laughter, and if you watch someone laugh, you will notice these biophysical effects.                                                                                                                                                 Now, why is oxygen so good for your body? Oxygen is one of the primary catalysts for biological energy in the human body. Remember, we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, so oxygen is an element of intracellular energy that's absolutely necessary to sustain human life.                                                                                                                                    It's also interesting to note that cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen. In fact, many parasites and bacteria don't survive well in the presence of oxygen, and to the extent that you can circulate extra oxygen throughout your body, you can help prevent, or in some cases treat, these diseases.                                                                                                                           Oxygen is good for you, and when you laugh, you get more oxygen into the cells of your body. If you can laugh at an oxygen bar, that's even better!                                                                                                                           Laughing also boosts circulation, so at the same time that you're distributing oxygen around your body, you're boosting the circulation of your blood; you're exercising abdominal muscles; you're exercising the muscles of your face; and you're enhancing the flexibility of various joints throughout your body. So it's a bit of physical exercise and healthful body movement as well. The harder you laugh, the greater this effect. If you can find a way to put yourself into a state of rolling, outrageous laughter, you're going to get a fantastic physical workout from it. In fact, the next day, you may even find your stomach muscles are sore. Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and your facial muscles were exhausted? That's some serious exercise, and it's the kind of exercise in which we should all engage on a regular basis.                                                                                                                   The chemistry of laughter
                    Now let's look at the biochemical impact of laughter. When you laugh, there's a lot more going on in your body than just the physical effect. You're also experiencing a biochemical benefit.
Your body manufactures chemicals based on certain needs and then distributes them throughout your body. When you laugh, you generate a wealth of healing biochemicals. I've often stated that for every minute of laughter, you produce somewhere around $10,000 worth of healthy body chemistry, and what I mean is that if you had to go out and actually purchase these refined chemical compounds from labs or pharmaceutical companies, you would have to pay at least $10,000 for the very same chemistry that your brain is producing free of charge when you engage in laughter. Some of these are brain-altering chemicals such as serotonin; others are immune-boosting chemicals such as interleukins. If you were to make a long list of all the chemicals created by engaging in healthy laughter, you would have quite a list of healthy body chemicals that would carry a hefty price tag if you purchased them retail. And yet, once again, you can create these chemicals for yourself at no cost by simply engaging in laughter.  .                                                                                                               You will find that these chemicals have extraordinary positive healing effects on your body and mind. They will boost immune system function; they will improve your outlook on life; they will tend to diminish any symptoms of depression; and because they help reduce stress, they will also prevent all of the various diseases and disorders that are caused by chronic stress.  .                                                                                                                      In other words, laughter can help counteract the destructive, negative health consequences of chronic stress. And what I've described here just scratches the surface of the benefits that are available to those who engage in regular laughter. Check out the science field called psychoneuroimmunology to learn more on this. It's a fascinating specialty that looks at the link between the mind and immune system function. What researchers have found in this field is that your state of mind has everything to do with the functioning of your immune system. By engaging in laughter, you can boost both your mind and your body.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Laughter Day 2011

In 2011 World Laughter Day falls on 1 May 2011.
Join an event in your area. Watch this space for more details closer to the time.
Love and Laughter
Nellie du Toit

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Laughter club in Hartbeespoort

"n Vrolike hart bevorder die genesing"


Vanaf 1 Februarie gaan 'n laggroep aangebied word in Hartbeespoort. WAAR? Proactive Gym, Paradise Creek Plaza, Ou Wapad Road, (oorkant Sediba Plaza waar die Spar is).
WANNEER? Elke weeksdag om 06:00 am. Kontak: Nellie du Toit by 0785095588. Nie-gym lidmate is ook welkom. Gym-lede gratis.
From 1 February 2011 Laughter Aerobics will be presented at the Pro Active Gym. Times: 06:00 weekdays. Contact: Nellie du Toit. Tel: 0785095588. "A joyful heart is good medicine!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

118 aanhalings oor Lag

[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
A good laugh heals a lot of hurts. — Madeleine L’Engle
A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing. — Herman Melville
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. — William Thackeray

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die. -- Abraham Lincoln
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. — Proverbs 17:22

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. — Phyllis Diller
A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around. – Carolyn Birmingham
A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable. — Herbert Procknow
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. — W. H. Auden
An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Nansbury
And keep a sense of humor. It doesn’t mean you have to tell jokes. If you can’t think of anything else, when you’re my age, take off your clothes and walk in front of a mirror. I guarantee you’ll get a laugh. — Art Linkletter
And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. – Friedrich Nietzsche
As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul. – A Jewish Proverb
As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it. — Lao Tsu
At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. — Jean Houston
Cancer is probably the most unfunny thing in the world, but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me from seeing the humor in what I went through. — Gilda Radner
Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another. — Kenny Ausubel
Earth laughs in flowers. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even the gods love jokes — Plato
Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.” — Mevlana Rumi
From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. — Dr. Seuss
God has a smile on His face. — Psalm 42:5
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. — Voltaire
Grim care, moroseness, anxiety—all this rust of life ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth. Mirth is God’s medicine. — Henry Ward Beecher
He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh. — Koran
He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast. — Proverbs 15:15
He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.– William Blake
He who laughs, lasts! — Mary Pettibone Poole
Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer. — Reinhold Niebuhr
Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it. — James Langston Hughes
I commend mirth. — Ecclesiastes 8:15
I have always felt that laughter in the face of reality is probably the finest sound there is and will last until the day when the game is called on account of darkness. In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can. — Linda Ellerbee
I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable. — Viktor Frankl
I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world. — Peter Ustinov
I will follow the upward road today; I will keep my face to the light. I will think high thoughts as I go my way; I will do what I know is right. I will look for the flowers by the side of the road; I will laugh and love and be strong. I will try to lighten another’s load this day as I fare along. — Mary S. Edgar
If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you. — Osho
If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old. — Edgar Watson Howe
If you have no tragedy, you have no comedy. Crying and laughing are the same emotion. If you laugh too hard, you cry. And vice versa. — Sid Caesar
If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature. – Feodor Dostoyevsky
If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself. — Benjamin Franklin
It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips. — Fred Allen
It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t fear death’, but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology. –Rev. Laura Gentry
Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can. — Elsa Maxwell
Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being. –Stella & Blake
Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy. –John Cleese
Laughter has no foreign accent. — Paul Lowney
Laughter is a form of internal jogging. It moves your internal organs around. It enhances respiration. It is an igniter of great expectations.” –Norman Cousins
Laughter is a sense of proportion and a power of seeing yourself from the outside. — Zero Mostel
Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of a troubled world. — Bettenell Huntznicker
Laughter is inner jogging. — Norman Cousins
Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks. ~ — Henri Bergson
Laughter is the foundation of reconciliation. — St. Francis de Sales
Laughter is the loaded latency given us by nature as part of our native equipment to break up the stalemates of our lives and urge us on to deeper and more complex forms of knowing. — Jean Houston
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. — Victor Borge
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. — Victor Hugo
Laughter lets me relax. It’s the equivalent of taking a deep breath, letting it out and saying, ‘This, too, will pass’. — Odette Pollar
Laughter serves as a blocking agent. Like a bullet-proof vest, it may help protect you against the ravages of negative emotions that can assault you in disease. — Norman Cousins
Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion. Peace begins with a smile—smile five times a day at someone you don’t really want to smile at at all—do it for peace. So let us radiate peace…and extinguish in the world and in the hearts of all men all hatred and love for power. — Mother Teresa
Let your heart by merry. — Judges 19:6
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. – George Bernard Shaw
Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can. — Danny Kaye
Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Continue to learn. Play with abandon. Choose with no regret. Laugh! Do what you love. Love as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey
Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitter for the moment. Cheerfulness keeps up a daylight in the mind, filling it with steady and perpetual serenity. — Samuel Johnson
Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable than risk being happy. — Robert Newton Anthony
No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. — Red Skelton
Of all days, the day on which one has not laughed is the one most surely wasted. — Sebastien Roch
On average, an infant laughs nearly two hundred times a day; an adult, only twelve. Maybe they are laughing so much because they are looking at us. To be able to preserve joyousness of heart and yet to be concerned in thought: in this way we can determine good fortune and misfortune on earth, and bring to perfection everything on earth. – I Ching
Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter. — Frederick W. Nietzche
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast. — William Shakespeare
Remember this: very little is needed to make a happy life. — Marcus Aurelius
Smiles are the soul’s kisses. — Minna Thomas Antrim
Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil. — Reginald Heber
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. — Voltaire
The beauty of the world has two edges; One of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. — Virginia Woolf
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up. Mark Twain
The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close, like light and shadow. — Socrates
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. — Kahlil Gibran
The greatest prayer you could ever pray is to laugh everyday. — Ramtha
The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing. — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. — Mark Twain
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. — E E Cummings
The old man laughed loud and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket, because it cut down the doctor’s bills like everything. — “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain
The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed. — Bennett Cerf
The person who has a sense of humor is not just more relaxed in the face of a potentially stressful situation, but is more flexible in his approach. — John Morreall
The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter… — Alan Watts
The size of a man’s understanding can be justly measured by his mirth. — Samuel Johnson
The truth is, laughter always sounds more perfect than weeping. Laughter flows in a violent riff and is effortlessly melodic. Weeping is often fought, choked, half strangled, or surrendered to with humiliation. — Anne Rice, Taltos
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people – that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature. The wellspring of laughter is not happiness, but pain, stress, and suffering. — James Thurber
The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. — George Santayana
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. — Anne Frank
Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. — Golda Meir
To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. — Charlie Chaplin
Total absence of humor renders life impossible. — Colette
True humor springs more from the heart than from the head; it is not contempt, its essence is love. — Thomas Carlyle
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain
We are all here for a spell. Get all the good laughs you can. – Will Rogers
We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh. — Agnes Repplier
We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we are happy because we laugh. — William James
We look before and after, And pine for what is not; Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. — Percy Shelley
We women take love too seriously. Men wish to be loved with laughter, not with sighing. So laugh, sweetheart, laugh, or soon you may be weeping. — Minna Thomas Antrim
What is funny about us is precisely that we take ourselves too seriously. — Reinhold Neibuhr
When humor goes, there goes civilization. — Erma Bombeck
When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl. — Sir James Matthew Barrie
When we can begin to take our failures non seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves. — Katherine Mansfield
When you do laugh, open your mouth wide enough for the noise to get out without squealing, throw your head back as though you were going to be shaved, hold on to your false hair with both hands and then laugh till your soul gets thoroughly rested. — Josh Billings
When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there’s also a spiritual opening. You’re not so tight inside yourself. That opening I’ve found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality. –Rabbi Sydney Mintz
When you laugh, you get a glimpse of God. — Merrily Belgum
When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. — Buddha
Wit is the key, I think, to anybody’s heart, because who doesn’t like to laugh? — Julia Roberts
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. –William Shakespeare
With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die. — Abraham Lincoln
Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been. — Mark Twain
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. — Michael Pritchard
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh — at yourself. — Ethel Barrymore
Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy. — Catherine Rippenger Fenwick
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the self-same well from which your laughter rises was often-times filled with your tears. — Rene Descartes

Laughter Yoga (yoga is only the breathing part)

"Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. An exercise routine, it is sweeping the world and is a complete wellbeing workout.
The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.
Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits."