LAUGHTER: It’s natural, it’s free and it plays a significant role in health. Biochemically speaking, laughter reduces the body’s production of cortisol (a stress hormone). It is commonly known that cortisol suppresses the body’s immune response. Since laughter reduces cortisol, the body’s immune response is thus unimpeded by it.
In particular, an immune booster called Interleukin-2 is allowed to express itself without being inhibited by cortisol. Furthermore, research shows that when we laugh, our metabolism rate picks-up, muscles are massaged and stimulated, and a variety of biochemical substances rush into the bloodstream. Studies have demonstrated that, after a period of laughing, we not only feel more relaxed, but we have fortified ourselves against depression, heart disease, and heightened our pain resistance. When you give way to laughter, electrical impulses are triggered, which set off chemical reactions in the brain and elsewhere in the body. For example, your endocrine system stimulates your brain to secrete natural tranquillisers and painkillers; other released chemicals aid digestion, still others make arteries contract and relax and improve blood flow. Laughing may not be the best medicine, but it’s certainly a good one. Seek out your associates who are light-hearted and who you know you will share laughter with.
QUALITY SLEEP: There are two basic nervous systems; the sympathetic nervous system that generally speeds things up, and the parasympathetic nervous system which slows things down. When we are under parasympathetic nervous system (during deep relaxation), detoxification, repair, maintenance and restoration occurs. The Liver and Adrenal Glands (stress response) greatly benefit from sufficient, quality sleep. Additionally, sufficient sleep promotes the release of a hormone called Leptin which regulates body fat, suppresses appetite, and raises the satiety response, while insufficient or poor quality sleep inhibits Leptin and promotes release of another hormone called Ghrelin which stimulates fat storage, increases appetite and suppresses satiety. Sleep therefore assist greatly in weight management.
By Lisa Borg, Nutritional Therapist at Pulse Light Clinic, to find out more about Lisa, please click here – Lisa Borg’s Biography