Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than
twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper
articles, including a monthly health column for The
She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting
Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry,
Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.
To read more about these books, participate in an
ongoing joke contest, surf on over to
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.
Shara has recently signed with a
New York Literary agency.
Humour and Health
A Matter of Perspective
- Part 3 of 5
be Dangerous to Your
Illness," is the way Steve Sultanoff, Mirthologist
and Clinical Psychologist puts it. "Therapeutic
humor is more than a discrete moment in time. It is not a
joke, anecdote, or funny situation. Instead, it is a
perspective or way of being in the world--a way of
enjoying the ups and downs of life."
Humor changes our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and
biochemistry. It's all in our perspective. We can develop
and nurture humor to heal.
So what is humor, really?
"Humor consists of laughter (the physiological
component), wit (the cognitive component), and mirth (the
emotional component)," Sultanoff states.
"Research is actually studying laughter, not humor.
The components other than laughter have not been studied
(to my knowledge) for their health benefits.
"We are all familiar with the feeling of
'lightness' that follows deep belly laughter. Norman
Cousins reported that 10-20 minutes of deep belly
laughter gave him hours free from the pain of his
debilitating disease. Laughter has been described as a
'jogging of the internal organs.'"
Research proves that laughter holds many physiological
benefits. The jury is out as far as laughter triggering
the release of endorphins. Sultanoff explains,
"While it is a commonly held belief that endorphins
are released during laughter, I am unaware of any
research that supports this belief. It may be true.
People consistently report that they feel better after
laughter. However we must wait for the research to answer
the question once and for all."
The evidence to date shows many physiological benefits
- Increases muscular and respiratory activity
- Stimulates the cardiovascular system, the
sympathetic nervous system, and the production of
- Increases antibodies-the body's first line of
defense against respiratory illness
- Decreases levels of stress hormones
- Decreases heart rate (in "heavy
- Increases pain tolerance
- Stimulates the muscular and skeletal systems
For more information on Humour and Health, visit Steve
Sultanoff's site, Humor
Matters. (And if you want some laughs right now, you
can go to the Joke Contest page at my web site at www.rendell-smock.com.)
But don't forget to come back here to read other Sideroad
Humour as a Coping Mechanism
Does laughing make you feel better when you're
sick? Got any experiences to share? Or jokes for next
week? If so, e-mail me at email@example.com
Back to the top
/ The New Sideroad/ Go to the latest column
Issue # 11
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1998
1 of 5 - "Think You're Funny?" (A look
Part 2 of 5 - What the Experts Say.
1 of 4 - how your mattress can make all the
Part 2 of 4 - strategies to help you
Part 3 of 4 - more strategies to
help you sleep.
Part 4 of 4 - what is a sleep log
and how does it work?
Stats indicate that for those over
the age of 50, one of every two women and one in eight
men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Our
sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for this disease. Yet
osteoporosis is not inevitable. Here's some information
on this disease and how we can prevent it.
Part 1 of 4
- - details the likelihood of developing
this disease, and its dangers and consequences.
Part 2 of 4
- - presents the risk factors of
osteoporosis and some of our misconceptions about the
Part 3 of 4
- - insights into diagnosis, and basic
Part 4 of 4
- - new medical treatments to stop
osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis
Humour as a Coping Mechanism