Wellness Words April 2018

Wellness Words April 2018

HealthLink Littauer’sAlicia DeRuscio-Head


Submitted by Alicia DeRuscio, B.S.

Community Education Assistant


April Is National Humor Month

Is laughter really the best medicine? According to the American Heart Association, humor and laughing can actually help protect against developing heart disease!

Research from the American Heart Association suggests that laughter can: 

Decrease stress hormones – Laughing has been shown to decrease the stress hormone “cortisol” in your body.

Reduce stress and anxiety – By decreasing your stress hormones, laughing relieves feelings of stress and anxiety.

Reduce inflammation in the arteries – Laughing makes your blood vessels dilate, increases the amount of oxygen pumped through your body and reduces inflammation.

Increase HDL or “good” cholesterol levels – Research suggests laughter can help improve your cholesterol.

When you laugh, you can’t help but feel good and what’s even better – the AHA says the effects of laughing can last up to 24 hours!


The Cancer Treatment Centers of America claim that humor has both therapeutic and restorative effects on the body. 

They even use “laughter therapy” as a natural medicine for their patients. Laughter therapy is the use of humor to promote overall health and wellness.

By using this type of therapy, the Center’s staff can help relieve the physical and emotional stressors of their patients, and aid their healing process.

According to studies at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, laughter can:

  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax the muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins or “feel-good” hormones
  • Ease digestion and soothe stomach pains
  • Improve mental function
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life


So, what are you waiting for? Do your mind, body, and soul a favor by adding some humor to your life with these simple tips:

  1. Smile – Laughter always begins with a smile, and smiling is contagious!
  2. Be thankful – Make a list of all the positive things in your life and avoid negative thoughts as these act as a barrier to laughter.
  3. Make laughter a part of YOUR day – If you’re around others that are laughing, chances are that you’ll be laughing, too!

For more information on healthy humor, call HealthLink Littauer at 518-736-1120, email us at healthlink@nlh.org or visit our wellness center on 2 Colonial Court in downtown Johnstown.  We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.