Holistic Massage School Explores Benefits of Laughter

We’re all familiar with the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and now scientific research has proven that laughter can help you live longer and healthier too” said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH).“We have all experienced the relief laughter brings when we’re feeling stressed or anxious, but until recently, doctors and researchers were unaware of the multitude of ways it positively affects our holistic health.  Below are just some of the exciting new findings that support the notion of laughter as good medicine”, she added.

Emotional Benefits: Studies support the idea that laughter acoustics facilitate a positive emotional response in listeners. Anyone who has heard a baby’s uncontrolled laughter can attest to its infectious nature.  Also, the emotions generated by humor and laughter can help people cope with the stressors of daily living more effectively. Studies show laughter can also improve functioning for those experiencing grief or heart-ache, or women dealing with the angst of breast cancer.

Social Benefits:  Laughter has been found to enhance the quality of both our social interactions and conversations.  It is believed that shared laughter helps people feel closer to each other.

Muscular System: Laughter initiates repeated short contractions of the diaphragm, chest and abdomen which exercise these muscles.  As a result, laughter is an easy and natural way to reduce bodily tension.

Cardiovascular System: Laughter activates the cardiovascular system, increasing blood flow to our heart, lungs and other internal organs.

Circulatory System: Laughter boosts our circulatory system, and has also been found to lower blood pressure and positively impact endurance.  The forced respiration that accompanies laughter also ensures that our circulating blood is well oxygenated. 

Immune System – More recent studies are suggesting that laughter positively affects the immune system by reducing the production of hormones associated with stress.  It has also been found that when we laugh, our immune systems produce more T-cells which help us fight cancers and other diseases.

Endocrine system – Laughter stimulates the pituitary gland and endocrine system which produce hormones.  Specifically, laughter stimulates the release of natural pain kills, Endorphins and Enkephalins.  These “happy hormones” not only reduce our sensitivity to pain, but boost pleasurable sensations in the body as well.  Likewise, laughter also contributes to a reduction in the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years.  Considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health and can do the same for you! To learn more about HH, or to explore if a career in massage therapy may be right for you, please visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido. 


Dr. Lee S. Berk, at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Public Health in California, and endocrinologist, Dr. Stanley Tan.

Silvia Cardoso, Behavioral Biologist at the State University of Campinas, Brazil.

Laughter: A Scientific Investigation. Robert Provine

Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is an international scientific society dedicated to generating, disseminating and promoting the knowledge of acoustics