As Educator of our BNI Group in Cairns, I asked the Chapter to join me in a Belly Laugh... Which is a spontaneous way to laugh, basically laughing on demand.... It was interesting as we have done this twice now..... and Today in the Beyond Success Newsletter, this article talks about the benefits of laughter....
So this is the article below: enjoy and take from it what you will.....
Maybe it is All in the Head
They say laughter is the best medicine. Well, turns out they might be right, and in this case, 'they' is Michael Miller, MD. The study was conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and has 'shown for the first time that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.'
And if that's not enough, they also proved the opposite: 'That finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.'
Participants in the study were shown two movies - one funny, one dramatic -and the endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels) contracted or expanded whenever they laughed or felt stress. According to Michael Miller, 'The endothelium is the first line in the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, so, given the results of our study, it is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.'
And if that still isn't enough, Miller went on to say that 'The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium is similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic activity, but without the aches, pains and muscle tension associated with exercise.'
So laugh loud and laugh often. Not only will you feel better, but your body will also function better. One thing to remember though - don't think that laughter is a substitute for honest exercise, but when you do laugh, take comfort in the fact that you're still giving your body a bit of a workout!
 'University Of Maryland School of Medicine Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better,' University of Maryland Medical Center, http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/laughter2.htm, accessed 2 June 2010. Further quotations are ibid.
Interesting Facts - Studies have pinpointed 18 different kinds of smiles. The most common is the smile of enjoyment.
In terms of exercise, you can get the same benefit from laughing 100 times a day as you can from 10 minutes of rowing.
One good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories.
Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your lifespan.