Laughter is the best medicine
This was the headline in the science section of the Guardian this week. It’s a message that I think we have heard before. In fact in the 1980s experiments showed that laughter increased the activity of the body’s natural killer cells, which are the ones responsible for mopping up cancer cells that are spreading.
This time laughter, brought about by watching funny movies, was shown to increase blood flow by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and hence benefiting the cardiovascular system. Watching a violent film had the opposite affect.
In earlier experiments by the same scientist (Michael Miller) people with heart disease were found to be 40% less likely to laugh than healthy people of the same age.