Healthy Living

Multiple Sclerosis Humorist Uses Laughter to Cope

So how does laughter help MS?

Now that we've established the effects of negative emotions and stress on MS, you may be wondering how laughter has anything to do with MS. There are a number of different ways that laughter can improve your health. Psychologically, laughter is known to reduce feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, grief, and guilt. This can lead to a better overall mood and a reduction in negative emotions.

Physiologically, laughter increases the flow of oxygen to your body and releases a number of endorphins, including dopamine, that can boost the immune system. This boost can be very beneficial in slowing down the disease and preventing symptoms from worsening over time. The endorphins and oxygen boost also have a number of other effects including improved energy levels, lower blood pressure, a stronger cardiovascular system and in overall reduction in stress in the body.

What researchers have emphasized is that laughter is not necessarily about happiness, it is about the relief of tension and increase in oxygen flow. This is why some health professionals have recommended targeted laughter therapy, which is also sometimes called laughter yoga. This practice combines deep breathing and meditation with the act of controlled laughter to boost the immune system and relieve symptoms associated with MS.