A new, groundbreaking study has shown that laughter can truly be good medicine, particularly for people suffering from heart disease.
Laughter therapy can improve the functional capacity of the cardiovascular system, which comprises the heart, lungs, arteries, and veins, according to preliminary research presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Amsterdam.
Researchers from the Hospital de Clnicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil, including Marco Saffi, discovered lower inflammation and improved health indicators in coronary artery disease patients who participated in a course of laughter treatment.
They discovered that laughter therapy sessions could induce tissue inside a patient’s heart to expand, potentially increasing oxygen flow throughout the body.
To date, many treatments without the use of medicines have been explored in patients with coronary artery disease, but the benefits of rehabilitation using laughter therapy have not been properly assessed, according to specialists.
The current study looked at the effect of laughter therapy on functional ability, tissue function, and inflammation markers in patients with coronary artery disease.
The disorder, which is one of the most common diseases in the world, occurs when the coronary arteries of the heart struggle to give adequate blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the organ.
From August 2016 to December 2020, scientists ran clinical research involving 26 adults with an average age of 64, analyzing each of their oxygen uptake and the enlargement of their major arteries as blood flow increased.
Researchers also examined levels of chemicals associated with inflammation in the patients’ bodies, including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM), and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM).
Thirteen patients were allocated to the laughter therapy group, which consisted of watching two self-selected TV comedy shows per week.
The other 13 acted as a control group, watching “neutral documentaries,” according to the experts.
According to the researchers, this is the first controlled clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of laughter therapy rehabilitation on patients with coronary artery disease.
It demonstrated an increase in the body’s peak oxygen uptake as well as improvements in tissue function and inflammatory indicators.
The latest findings support a previous study that found that laughing causes the body to release endorphins, which are substances that lower inflammation and stress and help the blood vessels and heart relax.
According to the new findings, which were presented at the world’s largest heart conference, laughter therapy may be an “effective form of cardiac rehabilitation in this patient population.”