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Laughter and Lymphoedema

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

What does Laughter have to do with Lymphoedema?

Why Laughter is good for you.
Laughter and Lymphoedema

I’m sure everyone is aware of the endorphins that are released during laughter which leave you with that happy relaxed feeling of wellbeing.

Relieving the body from depression, anxiety, stress and worry. But did you know that it can also have an effect on the lymphatic system.

Here is an article from the Laughter Online University that explains why.

The link between laughter and the lymphatic system

What does laughter have to do with the lymphatic system? The answer is so simple it is easy to miss:

Biophysical studies have shown that belly laughter accomplishes the diaphragmatic breathing necessary (diaphragm fluttering up and down at a very quick rate) to create a strong negative pressure within the thoracic duct (the largest lymphatic vessel in the body). Under negative pressure, the lymphatic fluid seeks an area of lesser pressure, thus shooting the lymph up and out through lymphatic vessels, increasing the speed and flow up to 10-15 times its normal rate of flow.

The increased flow of lymphatic fluid means more lymph is passing through lymph nodes, which itself means that more lymphocytes (t and b-cell lymphocytes, plus NK cells – the natural killer cells) are produced. Increased number of lymphocytes circulating in the blood means better immunity toward ALL diseases, especially cancer.

Any muscular movement will stimulate and increase the flow of lymphatic fluid, but laughter might prove to be one of the most painless and beneficial for accomplishing that goal.

When you laugh, the diaphragm becomes a powerful pump for your lymphatic circulation, much like your heart serves as the central pump that propels blood through your blood vessels. This assists the lymphatic vessels in carrying this fluid through your body and helps your lymph nodes to clean and filter this fluid, removing waste products, dead cells, and even unwanted microorganisms. Maintaining clean body fluids is important because these are necessary for you to be at your best. Increased lymphatic flow = an elevated, improved immune system just by the simple nature of more lymph flowing through the nodes, thus producing more lymphocytes, antibodies, etc.

More good news

Engaging the diaphragm with ANY type of deep breathing (laughter included), immediately engages the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system signals ALL body systems to SLOW down, thus producing “feel good” hormones (endorphins) that signal stress hormones to cool it. Once that signal is received, blood pressure drops, heart rate slows and an overall glow of “happiness in the moment” replaces anxiety/stress – the perfect “domino effect”.

For more information go to:

Laughter is something I always seek when I am down or feeling caught up in a negative spiral. Getting together with friends who I know will make me laugh or watching a funny movie/video/YouTube is a way for me to shift my mood. But I also use another way when those things are not available to me and that is by letting other people’s (especially babies) infectious laughter infect me. Here is a link to a YouTube video that may help you:

If all else fails put on some of your favourite upbeat music and DANCE

What tickles your funny bone?

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