3/27/02 - Laughing May be the Best Medicine

Knock, knock. Who's there?  A different way to cure what ails you. The old saying 'laughter is the best medicine' may have some truth to it. An expert who visited the Heartland Wednesday says this type of medicine won't cost you a thing. All you have to do is take a few deep breaths, relax, and just laugh.

Lino Stanchich is a laughing expert, who travels the country, telling people about the benefits of laughing. He says laughter doesn't just help cut down stress, but also helps treat illnesses, by adding to the benefits medicine can give your body.

"Everything on your body feels better when you laugh," Stanchich says. "Breathing, digestion, circulation, warmth, it all feels better. It pays to laugh." He says just a few minutes of laughing can make a world of difference. "When you laugh, you relax and you alkalize the body. It causes the circulation to move around, and energy to move around." Laughter not only improves circulation, but also increases endorphins, to strengthen your entire immune system.

Amy Hollinger was just one of the people at Stanchich's lecture at Southeast Missouri State University. She says, "You know how when you laugh you feel kind of better about yourself and everything seems to fade away? He had us laugh a lot today, and everything seemed a little less significant."

Another Southeast student, Ashley Carden, who went to the lecture says, "You kind of feel better about everything when you laugh. It's like everything was lifted off your shoulders." Southeast staff member Jill Venezian was also there. She says, "It's just a wonderful reminder of how great it feels to laugh."

Stanchich says that everyone should try to laugh everyday, and to practice it, especially when you're having a bad day.