Keep laughing -- it's good for you
Laughing... can hurt you????
A good belly laugh is some of the best medicine around -- so naturally, some killjoys are trying to get you to stop.
They're out with a new review of studies going back to 1946 that claims laughing can cause all kinds of suffering, pain and misery.
One woman, for example, passed out and died after a laughing fit. But she was suffering from a severe racing heart condition. Laughter may have played a role, but a coughing or sneezing fit probably could have done it as well.
The study also claims that laughing too hard could cause ruptures in vital organs, including the heart. Laughter, they say, might also tear the esophagus or maybe even lead to a hernia.
Believe it or not, they're not done with the so-called risks of laughing. Laugh too loud, long or hard and you could supposedly suffer from asthma attacks, epileptic seizures and incontinence.
But if you're going to laugh at anything, laugh at these risks -- because they're so remote they're practically unreal.
The benefits of laughter, on the other hand, are very real.
A good laugh can lift the mood, ease stress, fight pain and stimulate the immune system. It can help with everything from blood-sugar control to fertility, and a hearty laugh can even burn off calories.
Cautioning people against it because of a few extreme cases is like cautioning against getting out of bed because of someone who died after hitting his head on the dresser while getting up.
So go ahead and have a laugh. Laugh often and laugh hard. And laugh at anyone who tells you not to laugh.