New Castle News

All About You ...

July 25, 2013

Lori Brothers: Laughter is the best medicine after all

NEW CASTLE — Last week, I was moved to tears by a story about a man and his arthritic dog, Schoep. John Unger and his dog Schoep used to float in Lake Superior at least 10 minutes each day, if the water temperature permitted, as a form of comfort and therapy for the aging dog.  

The online photo is priceless and very touching. It shows the two floating in the water while the dog rests his sleeping head on his owner’s chest. See the photo by Googling “Today Pets, floating man with dog.”

The pet’s owner announced that Schoep died last week. He lived to be 20 years old.

This got me thinking about how much fun I have with my dog, Jazz. She is a Tibetan terrier. She loves to play “Squirrel.”  I do the tossing, she does the chasing. The laughter goes both ways — if you’re a pet owner, you know when your pet is laughing along with you.

In the Ornish Spectrum Program, we teach the importance of laughter for health. Laughter relaxes the whole body, releases endorphins —the “feel good hormones” — boosts the immune system and protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels and blood flow.

I find that playing with the dog is so rewarding and relaxing. I say that Jazz is a “puppy master, teaching me her puppy ways.” If a dog lifestyle doesn’t work for you, may I suggest a Guinea pig? Did you know that Guinea pigs chuckle? Or perhaps a cat or a turtle suits you.

If a pet is absolutely off limits for you, there are other ways to infuse laughter into your life. Seek out funny people, host game night with friends, get silly with children or watch a funny movie or television show.

Any activity that creates laughter leads to improved moods that affect your health.

“The kind of thought we get depends upon the type of hormones circulating in the blood which are released depending upon the state of mind,” said Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga International. “When one is under fear more negative chemicals are released in the blood resulting in more negative thoughts and feelings.”

Laughing Yoga has been developed as a brand of stress management that emphasizes the activity of laughing.  

You can start with smiling while sitting quietly — eyes opened or closed. Then imagine uproarious laughter happening on your insides. Remembering the feeling of laughter has its own effects.

Another Laughing Yoga technique is to place your hand on your heart and begin to laugh out loud, sending the laughter to yourself and others.  Just like praying, they don’t have to be there.

The founder of the laughing yoga concept is convinced that if we would all begin to focus on daily laughter in this way, we could have world peace.

Alan Alda, the actor, said, “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.”  

Laughter refreshes any relationship and unites people during difficult times.

Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”

My advice is to “vacation” often by laughing a lot. All of your cells and all of your systems including your mind will benefit from engaging in the jovial, the silly and the funny side of life, which brings rewarding and worthwhile health and happiness.

So I’ll leave you with a chuckle this week. This is an unknown quote — “Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.”  

On occasion, this is true for me. I hope it’s true for you, because it means you are engaged in some very powerful laughter.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
All About You ...
  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Says: Problems with no credit score?

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Play with names — not with your food

    Do you remember being told, “don’t play with your food” when you were a child?  Or maybe you’ve said this to your own children or grandchildren. I’ve heard stories about kids slipping food under the table to the dog or stuffing Brussels sprouts into their pockets to get out of the pain of eating them.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: A T-shirt dress can be a three for all

    I love finding pieces that can be worn for just about every portion of my life.  From daytime, to work, and then on a date with my husband, I like pieces that can go the distance.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ivy_bday.jpg Kali Davies-Anderson: Happy birthday, Miss Ivy!

    This week I would like to take time out of my usual ramblings to wish my second born daughter, Ivy, a very, very happy first birthday!

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Olszak.jpg Heartbleed raises the stakes on Internet security

    My column last week dealt with Internet and related scams, along with steps people can take to protect themselves. Today’s column could be termed Part 2 of that topic, albeit from a different angle.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Lugene Hudson: Celebrate Easter like Helen Martin

    What’s cookin? That’s one of our favorite questions at Culinary Conversation. We love when readers share some of their favorites. This week, Helen Martin of New Castle stepped up to the plate to answer that question regarding Easter dinners.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Ramsey: You can’t borrow way out of debt

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
     

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Wellness a growing trend among those over 50

    The power of choice that the explosion of Internet information has generated is moving us as a culture in a direction to examine who we are and what we really value.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: Some perfect fits for heading back to work

    I'm heading back to work soon and I've really been thinking about my work wardrobe — especially because I'm hoping most of it still fits my post-baby body.

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kali.jpg Kali Davies-Anderson: It’s one of those days — and sometimes that’s OK

    Today, I am distracted. I had a long weekend. I am kind of in a bad mood. My daughter is playing with a toy with multiple musical buttons and keeps interrupting the playing song to start it over again.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Are you concerned enough about the Heartbleed bug on the Internet to change all of your social media and website passwords?

Yes. It’s always a good idea to change passwords regularly anyway. I just have so many, I’m not sure where to start.
No. From what I’ve read, companies are still trying to figure out how to fix the flaw. The bad guys will just have access to my NEW passwords, too.
Not sure, but I blame Al Gore. He invented the Internet, right? How’s he going to get us out of this mess?
     View Results