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July 2014
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  Laughter is good for the soul. And now it seems, is good for the heart too!  Laughter, outward chuckles, inward joy.  Laughing at a joke or a funny movie…anything that gives you pleasure.  There’s even laugh yoga and laughter workshops. Laughter helps relieve stress, enhances your mood, dissolves fear, lessons anxiety, contributes to team work, makes us attractive to others and more pleasant to be around.  And laughter can have physical side effects too.  Laughter will strengthen your immune system, reduce food cravings, increase your threshold for pain, release endorphins, lessen pain, decrease stress hormones, and lead to the general relaxation of your mind and your muscles.  Studies are being done as to the effects of laughter on stimulating healing even in cancer cases.

Wikipedia says…”Laughter is found among various animals, as well as in humans.  Among the human species, it is a part of human behaviour regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations.  Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group-it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seemingly contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback.”

So what about laughter?  Did you know that laughter can help prevent heart disease?  Can laugher, along with a healthy sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack?  Is this possible?  Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, dopamine and growth hormone.  Laughter will increase the level of health-enhancing hormones, such as endorphins and neurotransmitters.  It will increase the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells.  This is how laughter can strengthen your immune system and allow you to have fewer of the physical effects of stress.  Internally, a good belly laugh will exercise your diaphragm and contract the abs, leaving you feeling more relaxed after.  Laughter can be a distraction for anger, guilt, stress and other negative emotions.  Humor can give us a lighthearted perspective on the way we view the challenges and threats in our life.  It can make these problems less threatening and allow you to feel more positive.

A new study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, found that…”people with heart disease were 40% less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease…..We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels.”  The most significant finding of this study was that “people with heart disease responded less humorously to everyday life situations.”  These people displayed more anger and hostility and laughed less.

Watch a comedy…movie or TV, head to a comedy club with friends or have friends over for game night. And there’s always YouTube.  Have you ever watched Stuart from Mad TV?  Do a search for “Hamster on a piano” on YouTube.  Now that’s funny.  Find the humor in your life.  Sometimes that can only happen after the fact…ha ha.  Look back on what’s happened to you and laugh.  Yeah, that’s been my life for the last few months!  I like this one….Fake it until you make it!  Fake laughter has the same benefits and can lead to real chuckles.

 So maybe this blog is funny?  Glad I made you laugh!

Why did the chicken cross the playground?  To get to the other slide!


"There is no cancer in normal metabolism," wrote Max Gerson, M.D. ( 1881-1959)

Hard to believe that that long ago, someone was talking about health and ways to fight cancer.  Or better yet, how not to allow cancer to thrive in your body!  This still makes me very sad...and angry.  What part of "you are what you eat" is still not registering with us? 

Max Gerson, M.D., lived in the United States for 23 years.  He is the pioneer of what is known as nutritional metabolic therapy.  His therapy involves detox and nutrition aimed at restoring the body's natural immunity and healing power.  His theory stated "cancer results from faulty metabolism due to poor nutrition and long-term exposure to pesticides, chemical fertilizers, air and water pollution, and other irritants that increasingly saturate the environment".

Gerson believed cancer was systemic rather than a localized disease.  Systemic refers to something that is spread throughout, affecting the body as a system.  The program helps the body eliminate toxins and waste materials that interfere with your body's natural defenses, like metabolism.  It also involves a low-fat, salt-free diet. This type of diet pumps the body’s cells with easily assimilated nutrients that will strengthen your natural immune defenses.

The core of the therapy is the diet.  It includes organic fresh fruit and veggies and thirteen glasses of fresh squeezed juices daily.  These give the patient high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants.  His patients also received supplements.  No meat was allowed and all animal protein was omitted for the first six to twelve weeks.  The diet also included some yogurt and certain cheese.  Research shows that these fatty acids killed human cancer cells in tissue cultures.  They did not destroy normal cells.  What may seem unorthodox to you, is the coffee enemas that patients gave themselves several times daily.  This was the key detoxification method.  Gerson believed patients died from the liver's inability to absorb the toxic breakdown of the dissolving tumor, not from the cancer itself.  What does caffeine do?  Caffeine is believed to stimulate the action of the liver, increase bile flow and open bile ducts so that the liver can excrete the toxins of the tumor as it breaks down.

More about Max Gerson.  He was a refugee from Nazi Germany.  With his salt-free vegetarian diet he successfully treated tuberculosis, migraines, arthritis, and cancer.  One of his most prominent patients was Albert Schweitzer.  He put him on a nutritional program, helping Schweitzer control his diabetes.  So well, in fact, that he stopped taking insulin.  He also cured Schweitzer's wife of terminal tuberculosis.  In the United States in 1936, Gerson was persecuted and harassed by the medical establishment.  Does that sound familiar?  Gerson was expelled from the New York Medical Society due to his unorthodox cancer therapy.  His therapy remains today on the American Cancer Society's Unproven Methods blacklist. 
Although there are skeptics to this therapy and to many others, I still believe the key to a healthy body and mind starts with your diet.  The addiction to food that most Americans have is scary.  I can only hope that it starts taking less time to get this message across.  I hope that it starts with you. 

I hope that parents start teaching their children at an early age about the benefits of diet and exercise.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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