Laughter has been called “the best medicine” for many decades — and now there’s scientific proof.
“Laughter therapy” was also shown to improve the health of those who already had heart disease.
The study found that laughter therapy increased the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system.
Lead author of the study, Professor Marco Saffi, says participants were previously diagnosed with coronary artery disease, which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries and can restrict the flow of blood to the heart.
Half of the patients watched two hour-long comedy shows on TV each week for a three-month period, and the other half watched two “neutral documentaries.”
At the end of the study period, the group that watched the comedy programs showed a 10% greater flow of oxygen compared to the other group, indicating a stronger and healthier heart.
Regular chuckles have also been shown to release endorphins and lower stress levels, which could also benefit heart health, he noted.