Laughter used as therapy

We all surely know some of the most common benefits of laughter, but a recent study by researchers from Loma Linda University in California, US, has revealed that much more than offering relief through humour, laughter is a vital tool to the health for our physical and mental state.

The study was carried out among 20 healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 70, in which the levels of stress and short-term memory were assessed. The research was divided into two groups: the first group was asked to sit quietly, read or use their mobile phones without speaking; while the second group was shown funny videos.

 

After 20 minutes, the participants from both groups gave saliva samples and also underwent tests of short-term memory. The results showed that the group of people who had been exposed to comedy videos scored significantly better on tests of short-term memory than the other study group. The so-called "group of humour" improved their memory by 43.6% in comparison to the results gained in the pre-study test. The other group improved as well, but with not as much success, bettering their previous score by 20.3% On the other hand, the group of individuals who sat through 20 minutes of funny videos showed considerably Read more

Protecting our health from the dangers of winter

According to some experts, the impact of respiratory diseases on our health can be increased by approximately 30% during the winter season. However, apart from these illnesses, there are others that are prevalent at this time of year.

Not surprisingly, the groups more significantly at risk of suffering health problems during these months are the most vulnerable ones: infants, young children, chronically ill and elderly people. These are the people that must take more precautions so as not aggravate minor illnesses, which could subsequently take a turn for the worse.

Before going any further, let's review some of the health problems that go hand in hand with winter and cold weather: Respiratory diseases such as the flu, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia are some of the most common conditions, which are largely preventable if appropriate recommendations are followed. It is advisable to keep our doctor abreast of our symptoms and, if we are more vulnerable to sickness, we should be vaccinated annually against influenza (flu). Circulation problems: low temperatures can make our blood flow slower, which can become a threat for those patients with ischaemia (insufficient supply of blood to an organ, usually due Read more