Could laughter be a remedy for a headache?

Recently I had a migraine, one that lasts for two days, is resistant to panadol and feels like the weight of the world is on your head…the remedy...laughter.

I’d had one of those days…the sun rising failed to alert me of a new day…I found out as I got in the car that I had to take my daughter to an unknown sports field for the School Carnival, new to the area and of course my GPS decided not to play…only to get to work just in time…and then take the wrong client through to a spa room…I walked into the staff room and asked…’What’s a pamper package? Am I just doing the Relaxation Massage?' To find out to everyone’s amusement that it was the wrong client…the client (also very amused) happily gowned and was moved to the appropriate room with the appropriate therapist lol. That was how my day began.

I wasn’t able to laugh at my own antics until the end of the day when retelling the story to my daughter’s drama teacher. Yes a day of dramas, dilemmas and quandaries.

However, I realised as I laughed that the vice grips pressing down on my head released and two day migraine commenced dissipation.

And I thought…is laughter a remedy for headache? What physiological, anatomical and neurological reactions have I just triggered in my body.

PhD Brian Luke Seaward suggests in his research article ‘Humour’s Healing Potential’ 1992, that ‘laughter stabilises blood pressure, massages inner organs, stimulates circulation, facilitates digestion, increases oxygen supply to muscles, decreases muscle tension and promotes an overall sense of well-being.’

Seaward continues to state ‘the most remarkable effect laugher may produce is the release of neuropeptides, including beta endorphine, which acts as pain reducers’.

In a book by Dr Bernies Siegel M.D. Peace, Love and Healing – bodymind communication and the path to self-healing, Siegel explores how ‘positive emotions including joy, love, faith, hope, confidence and will contribute to the strength and integrity of the immune system’.

I will leave you with these quotes to ponder over:

When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there's also a spiritual opening. You're not so tight inside yourself. That opening I've found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality. -- Rabbi Sydney Mintz

A smile is the shortest distance between two people. Victor Borge.

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