Gelotology is the study of humor and laughter, and its effects on the human body. It is also the psychological and physiological study of laughter. The word is from the Greek gelos, geloto meaning laugh, laughter, laughing. A gelotologist is a person who specializes in gelotology. The word gelotology is often misspelled
as gelatology. There is well documented and ongoing research in this field of study.
Studies of this include all aspects of the human body a brief description of the influence of laughter on them are:
Heart It has been shown that laughing helps protect the heart. Although studies are not sure why laughing protects the heart, the studies do explain that mental stress impairs the endothelium, which is the protective barrier lining a person’s blood vessels. Once the endothelium is impaired, it can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to cholesterol build up in a person’s coronary arteries, which can ultimately cause a heart attack. Also according to Sultanoff in his interview for the article for WebMD, laughter has been show to increase tolerance of pain and boost the body’s production of infection-fighting antibodies, which can help prevent hardening of the arteries and subsequent conditions caused thereby such as angina, heart attacks, or strokes. It is shown that people who are “chronically angry and hostile have a greater likelihood for heart attack, people who “live in anxious, stressed out lifestyles have greater blockages of their coronary arteries”, and people who are “chronically depressed have a two times greater change of heart disease. According to a 2006 article on WebMD, studies at the University of Maryland found that when a group of people were shown a comedy, after the screening their blood vessels performed normally, whereas when they watched a drama, after the screening their blood vessels tended to tense up and restricted the blood flow.
Diabetes A study in Japan shows that laughter lowers blood sugar after a meal. Keiko Hayashi, Ph.D., R.N, of the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan, and his team performed a study of 19 people with type 2 diabetes. They collected the patients’ blood before and two hours after