Good Morning Redding!
Have you every paid great attention to your body after watching a thriller, action film, or intense drama? You may have felt your body tense up, chest constricted, and blood pressure rising.
By the same token, positive, funny movies can have a beneficial impact on our health, especially for the heart and cardiovascular system. New studies continue to prove that laughter is a crucial medicine.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Maybe a great prescription for personal health would be to find out what types of comedy make us laugh and incorporate it into our routine like exercise.
Watching a film that makes you laugh is good for your heart, according to a study.
Researchers found watching a movie or programme that produces laughter has a positive effect on vascular function and is opposite to that observed after watching a war or horror film that causes mental stress.
In the study volunteers watched segments of a funny film - such as There's Something About Mary starring Cameron Diaz - on one day and on another day watched the opening segment of the stressful war film Saving Private Ryan.
Lead investigator Dr Michael Miller from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the U.S. said that when the volunteers watched the stressful film, their blood vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow.
"We don't recommend that you laugh and not exercise, but we do recommend that you try to laugh on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system," said Dr. Michael Miller.
He said this finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.
However, after watching the funny movie, the blood vessel lining expanded.
Overall, more than 300 measurements were made with a 30 to 50 per cent difference in blood vessel diameter between the laughter and mental stress phases.
Dr Miller said: 'The take-home message here is that laughter is great for your heart.
'The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium after laughing was consistent and similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic exercise of statin use.'
In another study, Dr Wei Jiang and colleagues at Duke University in North Carolina followed 1,005 heart failure patients and also tested them for depression.
Those with mild depression had a 44 percent greater risk of dying, Jiang told the meeting.
"This adverse association of depression and increased long-term mortality was independent of other factors, including age, marriage, cardiac function and the root cause of the heart failure," Jiang said in a statement.
"Approximately half of all patients with heart failure will die within five years of diagnosis, and we believe that our study appears to identify a group of these patients who are at a higher risk for dying."
Jiang said it is not clear why, but he said patients with depression tend not to exercise or take medications properly.
"Also, depressed patients tend to make unhealthy lifestyle choices in such areas as diet and smoking," she said.
There are fascinating aspects to this research. Just imagine how things we see and hear throughout the day have a profound affect on our pyschology and subsequently to our health. The negative images portrayed by the news, the economy, politics, financial stressors, etc can all have a PROFOUND influence on your health.
Here at WellnessOne we encourage you to look at the 4 pillars to health: Proper function of the human frame (e.g. spine), correct nutrition (not what the government tells you is healthy), regular exercise (sitting on a stationary bike with a magazine doesn't count), and managing your peace (and thus your stress). We offer counseling and services for all these pillars. For purposes of todays blog the peace/stress portion applies. For this we have:
Massage Therapy Acupuncture Yoga