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We know that our mindful movement practice in the studios reaps many benefits. Both Yoga and Pilates promote a calmer state of mind, a better sense of control & self-esteem and more efficient body functioning. But now that we are shut for the Easter break, what can you do to keep your state of mind and state of health in check when you can’t get to class? The answer is simple- Laugh.

Laughter is the best medicine

In the 1970s, an American journalist Norman Cousins was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder brought on by stress. He rationalised that if stress created his condition then perhaps stress-release would relieve it. So he prescribed himself, with the approval of his doctor, a regimen of humorous videos and comedy shows. Ultimately, his disease went into remission and Cousins wrote a book about his experience, Anatomy of an Illness: A Patient’s Perspective, which was published in 1979. The book became a best seller and led to the investigation of a new field, known then as whole-person care or integrative medicine and now, lifestyle medicine.

Since Cousins’ anecdotal foray into the link between Emotions and Health, more rigorous scientific research has been conducted into the Mind-Emotion-Disease model. One of the most famous studies, into diabetic patients, conducted by Berk, 2009, concluded that mirthful laughter may lower stress and inflammatory response and increase “good” cholesterol levels.

Choose Laughter, Optimism and Hope for your health

Berk says, “the best clinicians understand that there is an intrinsic physiological intervention brought about by positive emotions such as mirthful laughter, optimism and hope.  Lifestyle choices have a significant impact on health and disease and these are choices which we and the patient exercise control relative to prevention and treatment.”

So enjoy a good chuckle this Easter!

‘Comedy is the finest drug; Laughter is the best medicine’  D.M.Jarrett