Me, My MS and I

Laughter Is One of The Best Medicines

I was chatting with my mum today and tried to say ‘predictible’, but my MS kicked in and all that came out of my mouth on several attempts were sounds akin to, “ppppppp…. prprprp….. pdppdpdp….. prick!” Rather than allowing it to upset me, I simply burst out laughing. I sounded like Arkwright in Open All Hours!! I finally managed to say the word and forgot the rest of the point I was making! Again much laughter. Earlier tonight on Twitter, Damon was considering going to see a funny movie and I pointed out laughing releases endorphins and increases seratonin levels in the brain (smarty pants that I am). Seems there’s a common theme today, so thought I’d make it my post for today.

MS is an autoimmune disorder and there are various theories on how to treat the immune system (which I shan’t go into at the moment), but I personally feel that my immune system isn’t overactive; it’s simply ‘wonky’ and needs looked after in order to function at some level of normality. Apart from all the other benefits of laughter, it boosts your immune system (all will be explained!).

And now for why laughter is such good medicine!

Laughter operates on biophysical, biochemical and bioenergetic levels. By the physical process of laughing, you move lymph fluid around your body. Lymph fluid boosts your immune system and cleanses your organs and tissues of waste. The lymphatic system doesn’t have a ‘pump’ to move the lymph fluid around – muscles do this – therefore laughter is a perfect way to move lymph fluid, and very enjoyable!

As I mentioned above, laughter also increases seratonin levels and produces endorphins. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant and can help with anxiety levels and depression, and also regulates sleep and apetite. Endorphins act as a natural pain reliever. Both of these would come in pretty handy for we MSers.

Laughter also increases the level of oxygen in cells and organs. When laughing, you inhale rapidly and deeply, similar to hyperventilating, and take on board large levels of oxygen. Some use oxygen therapy for their MS; perhaps laughter could be just as good?

A good, hearty laugh relaxes the body and relieves physical tension for up to 45 minutes afterwards.

Laughter boosts your circulation. As you increase your oxygen intake, it is distributed around your body and you also get a mini workout – your abdominal and facial muscles work hard.

As laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, it can help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

Finally, laughter is contagious: it brings people together and shares a good feeling. It also enhances team work, attracts others, defuses conflict and helps to strengthen relationships.

All of these benefits of laughter seem to have a link with MS in one way or another. And lets face it – MS isn’t always a barrel of laughs, but it helps to have a sense of humour about it.

Above all else, laughter makes you feel damn good and is fun, so go ahead and have a good laugh.
Thanks to the reference articles:

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  1. * Bob says:

    heheh (laughing) ; )You might be interested in this book I'm reading - there's a blog for it too -

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  2. * Damon says:

    Was feeling a bit blah tonite, and in a moment of brilliance I remembered this blog entry of yours. I needed some laughter. So I went into my collection of movies and found some guaranteed laughs. Sure enough, I felt better so…Thank you Jenna, the girl from Glasgow. Thank you for being wise and awesome 🙂

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago

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