Once again, scientist have found that laughter can lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Well, they at least observed an 'association' between the two. The exciting part of the study, is that the Japanese researchers brought in a bunch of laughter yogis to instigate the laughing under investigation. They worked with music therapists as well, and found that the groups participating in laughing and music not only lowered their blood pressure, but were more likely to be motivated to exercise.
Though the study requires more scrutiny, one Dr. John Ciccone, a preventive cardiologist at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in West Orange, N.J. proposed that relaxation techniques such as laughter yoga and music therapy are "not outside the mainstream anymore… I think a lot of what was considered alternative is no longer alternative." Here I come General Hospital.
I don't have leg ulcers. I hope I don't ever have leg ulcers. Do you have leg ulcers? I hope you don't have leg ulcers. That would totally suck. But if you do, I hope you are already laughing because that's gonna help. Read on, dear reader…
So it turns out that laughing and regular nursing care heals venous leg ulcers more effectively than ultrasound therapy.
I read this study on leg ulcers that suggests ultrasound treatment, which they used to think would help heal ulcers when used in conjunction with compression bandaging. Turns out the ultrasound doesn't help. Guess what? Big surprise, the study indicates that diet, exercise, and good blood flow is more essential to the healing process. Gee, a healthy diet and frequent exercise are at it again. I would have thought "Twinkies", but good thing we have these scientists doing studies so we know what is good for us. They said that stimulation of blood from the legs into the heart is the crucial factor in healing even ???hard to heal??? lesions. Thus the focus is on how to get one's blood flowing. Aside from compression bandages, laughter can help the diaphragm immensley in encouraging blood circulation. Laughing is cheaper, more accessible, and a positive solution to the negative impacts on the quality of life caused by leg ulcers. May all beings be free… of leg ulcers.
National Public Radio interview with Clinical Psychologist ILDIKO TABORI and comedian KEVIN NEALON.
In acknowledging that personal anguish is at the heart of many stand-up routines, Hollywood's legendary comedy club, The Laugh Factory, recently took on Dr. Ildiko Tabori as in-house clinical psychologist to treat the club's comics. Free therapy will be available to performers four nights per week in a soundproof, private office in the upstairs of the club building. NPR's interview with Dr. Tabori and Saturday Night Live alumnus Kevin Nealon explores the need for therapy in the entertainment industry, but especially in stand up comedy.
Nealon describes on stage performance as an "escape" from emotional issues, or in other words, "going to Disneyland". The ability to laugh off and transform neurosis into comedy on stage provides a platform for forgetting the emotional reality of life. The offstage come-down, that Nealon refers to as sometimes hitting him like "a ton of bricks", is what Dr. Tabori will be available to treat.
Dr. Tabori explains the difficulty in recognizing psychological symptoms in comedians because of the variable nature of their work. Aside from this, therapy has been stigmatized as inhibiting to the punch-line humor found through pain. Some comedians don't want help because they fear coming out of the therapy office un-funny. Yet Tabori assures that funny is a personality trait and not necessarily a product of emotional pain. Besides, a comedian's funny can't be sequestered by a psychologist.
I'd like to share a bit of my experience with standup comedy. Having done standup for a dozen years, I've watched a lot of people try to make it work and fail. And I have a secret for you. It's the number one reason why people succeed in standup. In anything. You won't believe it. You're going to say that it's too simple. That there's got to be some other magic ingredient… talent, or charisma… but the truth is that the number one ingredient to success in comedy is PERSISTENCE with the INTENTION TO SUCCEED. If you don't persist with absolute determination, you will have a very difficult time getting past the challenges that come up, and they are numerous.
ACTION: Make a commitment to yourself when you begin that you will give comedy 100% of your good will efforts for a certain period of time–that could be one day, one month, or one year. But make that commitment and then renew it when the time comes. You sort of do comedy like you can sort of be pregnant. I know a lady who tried both. It wasn't pretty.
How does it all work? Stay tuned for Part 2.