Once again, an attempt is being made to find out if laughter is indeed the best medicine.
The Washington Post reports that participants in the International Laughter Yoga Conference in India are using as many different types of laughter as their collective imagination can create to replicate findings from 2006 that showed the cardio-pulmonary system was positively affected from a good laugh.
The idea, the Post says, is for the laughers to create enough energy to release endorphins - hormones that elevate the mood and are often released from rigorous exercise.
In the 2006 study, published in the journal Heart, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore collected a total of 160 measurements of brachial artery flow from the participants a minute before and after phases of laughter or sadness. The brachial artery, which runs from the shoulder to the elbow, is a good indicator of blood flow throughout the body.
According to the researchers, brachial blood flow was reduced in 14 of the 20 participants after they watched segments from the sad movies.
Blood flow was increased in 19 of the 20 participants after they watched clips from comedy movies. Now, those promoting mirth at the Indian yoga conference are attempting to add to the original research. – (HealthDay News, June 2008)
Yoga may beat the blues