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Jamie Eiland

Number of posts : 3
Registration date : 2009-10-05

PostSubject: Jamie Eiland's platform    Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:25 pm

Hilarious Healthcare
Jamie Eiland

Caution: laughter may cause stitches in your side, milk out of your nose, snorting, coughing, cavernous laugh lines, teary eyes, and cramps. Just like prescription medicines, laughter can have side affects too. However, the difference between medicines and laughter is that the side affects from laughter do not harm you as some medications. Today, I would like to talk to you about how laughter is the best medicine, or as I like to call it, hilarious healthcare. With healthcare being the subject of so much news these days, most of it bad, isn’t it nice to know there is one thing that can improve our health, and it doesn’t cost a thing. I’m going to talk about how a good, hardy belly laugh benefits our bodies physically, mentally and spiritually.

Our physical bodies are amazing. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. However, we need to take care of these shells we’re living in while here on earth. Have you ever heard the saying “A laugh a day keeps the heart attack away?” Well, scientists from The University of Maryland Medical Center found that people with heart disease were forty percent less likely to laugh in a variety of funny situations compared to people without heart disease. I know you’re probably thinking, “What’s there to laugh about if you have heart disease.” The people tested didn’t know they had heart disease at the time of the test. These scientists also studied how laughter affects blood flow. During their research, they showed a comedic movie to a group of people and a dramatic movie to a second group. While watching the movies, the people were monitored for any changes in the blood flow of their bodies. It turns out that the first group, viewing the comedy, maintained normal blood flow and there was even a drop in their cholesterol levels! In contrast, the second group, who had watched the drama, experienced tension, which restricted their blood flow. The researchers also found that laughter stretches our muscles and we breathe faster sending more oxygen to our lungs. Did you know laughter can also be a mild workout? That’s one workout we can be happy about! Researcher William Fry from Vanderbilt University established that laughing for one minute gives us the same heart rate as we would have working out on the rowing machine for ten minutes. He also discovered that about ten to fifteen minutes of laughter can burn fifty calories. Dr.Lee Berk, who has been studying the affects of laughter for more than two decades, teaches that the high you get from giggling fits is similar to the endorphin rush from when you exercise. Berk concluded that mirthful laughter is equivalent to eternal jogging. A good, hearty laugh also relieves physical tension and stress, leaving our muscles relaxed for up to forty-five minutes afterwards. Furthermore, humorous outbursts raise the infection fighting antibodies in our blood and boost our immune systems. In cancer patients, Dr. Berk found that laughter increases the number of natural killer cells. Natural Killer Cells are the body’s way of fighting tumors. All of these discoveries seem quite extraordinary except for the fact that in Proverbs 17:22, God had already taught us, “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed heart dries up the bones.” There are many more ways in which laughter benefits us physically, but now let’s look at some of the mental benefits.

Roscoe Drummond said, “ The mind is a wonderful thing, it starts working the minute you were born and never stops until you get up to speak in public.” (haha)
The mind is a complex part of our bodies. Laughter can aid us mentally because it dissolves distressing thoughts which lead to negative emotions and behavior. It shifts our perspective of unpleasant situations. After all, how can we feel anxious, angry, or sad when we are laughing. In the brain, laughter actually triggers endorphins helping us remember more and concentrate better on what we are doing. This year in speech I am doing a duo. My duo partner and I have had some very funny moments. When I am with her, we laugh a lot. I don’t think about the test that I have in a week or that I need to practice piano. When I am laughing, all of the things that I have to get done, or all the things that give me stress fade away leaving me relaxed. Doctors Melinda Smith, Gina Kemp, and Jeanne Segal say laughter boosts your personality and it makes you brighter and happier. Proverbs 15:15 confirms, “All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Some might be familiar with a doctor called Patch Adams, who is a specialist in humor medicine believes that laughter, joy, and creativity are an integral part of the healing process. Dr. Adams also believes that the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy, and to laugh. .” Just as a side note, even though laughter helps you to reduce stress and increase energy, it is never right to laugh at someone else or at their expense. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:6, “Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools.” Also Ecclesiastes 3:4 states, “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh.”

We’ve looked at ways in which laughter is a good medicine physically and mentally. Now let’s discover how laughter affects us spiritually. What does God have to say about it? The Bible instructs us to praise God with laughter and that God will bring our lives laughter as in “I will fill your mouth with laughter, and lips with joy.” Psalm 126:2 Let us consider Abraham and Sarah, who were past childbearing age, but told they were going to have a baby. Genesis 17:17 states, “Abraham fell facedown, he laughed and said to himself, will a child be born to a man a hundred years old?” Then in Genesis 21:6, Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this shall laugh with me.” Sarah was obviously happy to be having a child, but more than that, they had found favor with God. Their laughter was a release of years of feeling unfavored, questioning why they had been left childless. Their giddiness was the outward showing of a joyful spirit. Undoubtedly, their laughter also helped to alleviate the worry they might have felt having a baby at such an old age! By the way, Abraham and Sarah named their son Isaac, which means laughter. Chuckling is oftentimes a sign of joy. God instructs us in Phillipians 1:4 to have a joyful heart, and to praise him with joy and laughter. Joy and laughter go hand in hand. Joy is a gift of the Spirit and serves an important purpose in this fallen world in which we live. When Job was struck down he told his friends, “He will fill our mouths with laughter and shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21) Another memorable verse is Proverbs 15:13 which proclaims, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Of course, one doesn’t have to be laughing to have a happy heart, but a happy heart certainly makes it easy to lighten up and find the humor in things. I submit that laughter means we are right with God. Consider Job 5:17-22, “Blessed is the man that whom when God corrects, does not despise the discipline of the Almighty, you will laugh at the destruction and famine, and need not fear the beasts of the earth.”

So what brings you laughter? A child’s innocent and funny observation? A well-timed joke? America’s funniest videos? My humorous duo (haha)? Whatever it is, cherish it and use it often to laugh. Physically, you will relax, burn calories and basically feel good from an influx of endorphins. Mentally, you will not be oppressed by anxious, angry or sad thoughts. Last but not least, spiritually, you will be obeying instruction from God that is for our own good, receiving the gift of joy. Go ahead, make all kinds of laughter noises, shoot milk out your nose, laugh loudly! It’s contagious in a good way, an actual medicine that relaxes the body and mind and soothes the spirit without side effects. Now that’s healthcare that doesn’t need reform!
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