|From Imgur: Because who doesn't like Bear Humor?|
Laughter has positive, multifaceted effects on our bodies and minds. Today I will cover not only why laughter is healthy for any person, but I am also going to go over some of the specific benefits it entails for women with endometriosis. (note: I am sure it will also benefit those with IBD, but to be honest I focus my primary efforts on endometriosis, as it has had the greater negative effect on my health. And, luckily, usually what ever is good for endometriosis (non-medication speaking of course) is usually good for IBD.)
|Found this gem on Redditor. If you don't notice, he eats the evidence|
Laughter helps the body by releasing tension. Both muscles that do and do not participate in laughter are relaxed for up to 45 minutes after laughing. Often endometrial pains are because of and/or are intensified by muscle tension. Relaxing those muscles with a good laugh helps reduce that pain and relax your body! Additionally, laughter helps you relax in general. Studies have shown that women with endometriosis release excess adrenal hormones (stress hormones) when under stress. Not only do these hormones raise blood pressure and affect the heart, but high levels increase inflammation and impede the body's ability to heal and prevent scar tissue. Laughter helps relax the body and limit these damaging hormones.
Besides relaxing the body and preventing negative hormone release, laughter can also help increase beneficial endogenous chemicals in the body. Laughter releases endorphins, the body's natural 'feel-good chemical'. These are actually opioid peptides, which means they act on the same receptors that narcotic pain killers do. Producing this chemical through activities such as exercise or laughter can thus result in lesser experience of pain. So this is both physical and mental benefit (less pain, better mood).
Aside from altering hormones and chemicals, laughter also lowers blood pressure, increases oxygenation of blood vessels (improving healing and cell regeneration), and boosts immunity. Endometriosis sufferers are more prone to infections and other immune diseases. It's part of the disease. These woman almost always have compromised immune function, thus benefits such as these are a boon for them. Laughter helps beef up all your body's natural defenses and protectors.
Even better than all that, laughter also benefits people mentally and socially. Physical responses of laughter, such as reduction of stress hormones, increasing endorphins, relaxing muscles, help to produce a feeling of euphoria and contentedness. Your mood is lifted and you are resilient to negative experiences that would otherwise dampen your mood. Endometriosis is a huge downer sometimes. Not only because of pain and suffering, but also because excess/turbulent hormones can actually increase your proclivity for depression. Essentially, your body is making it extremely difficult to be happy. Thus, simple things such as laughing at funny videos really helps to combat that depression; it lifts up your mood whether or not you want it to.
Thank you for reading, I hope you've enjoyed the videos/pictures I included to evoke a good laugh. May your day be full of laughter!
Why printers are sent from HELL
Design me pie charts. For Free. (Language warning--PG-13)