Laugh and live longer

A laughter therapist says laughter is the best medicine for all kinds of ailments.

A laughter therapist supports her theory that laughter is the best medicine. Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg laughter therapist says we don't have enough time to relax and laugh in today's fast paced world and that laughter releases endorphins to lift depression and improve emotional intelligence.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702's Redi Tlhabi, Founder of Laugh SA ,Janine Grobler, says when we are stressed out we have no empathy for the people around us.

Grobler says, "People were born to laugh, researchers around the world have said babies and children laugh and smile hundreds of times a day. Laughter is hardwired into the body and it's frightening that we get paid money to teach people how to laugh."

BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER

Grobler says as adults, we have lost our ability to laugh and we need to get it back.

"We have technology that proves all the amazing benefits of laughter. Physical, psychological, emotional benefits. Even if we don't feel like laughing but we just start laughing, the brain releases a cocktail of organic medicines, chemicals and hormones into the blood stream that lifts our spirits and makes us nicer to the people around us.

"The minute we start laughing the immune system is immediately switched on with a prolonged production of good killer cells.

"Those are the cells that attack and kill off cancerous cells which we all get, but when our immune systems are strong, the natural killer cells will attack them."

Grobler says even T-cell levels can be elevated with laughter in HIV positive patients.

"We know that when people living with HIV, when their T-cell levels drop to below 200, their situation is life threatening, but when we start laughing, even if it's just an act, the brain doesn't know it, and it starts producing, in addition to natural killer cells, T-cells."

She added that you can't worry when you're laughing and you can't stay in conflict with someone when you are laughing, as John Cleese demonstrated in when he attended a laughter workshop in India in 2006: