Laughter therapy and heart attack care
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Adv Mind Body Med. 2007 Winter;22(3-4):8-12. Humor, as an adjunct therapy in cardiac rehabilitation, attenuates catecholamines and myocardial infarction recurrence. Tan SA, Tan LG, Lukman ST, Berk LS. Section of Endocrinology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA.
BACKGROUND: Catecholamines, especially epinephrine, are implicated in causing arrhythmias, hypertension, and recurrence of myocardial infarction (MI). Diminishing or blocking the effect of catecholamines is useful in cardiac rehabilitation. We have shown previously that a single 1-hour viewing of a humorous video attenuates epinephrine production.
DESIGN: We hypothesized that daily participation in viewing humor would diminish catecholamine production and improve cardiac rehabilitation.
METHODS: Forty-eight diabetic patients who had recently experienced an MI were divided into 2 matched groups and followed for 1 year in their cardiac rehabilitation programs. The experimental humor group was asked to view self-selected humor for 30 minutes daily as an adjunct to the standard cardiac therapy. Blood pressure, urinary and plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, and 24-hour Holter recording were monitored monthly in both experimental humor and control groups.
RESULTS: The patients in the humor group had fewer episodes of arrhythmias, lower blood pressure, lower urinary and plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, less use of nitroglycerin for angina, and a markedly lower incidence of recurrent MI (2/24) than did the control group (10/24).
CONCLUSION: Humor appears to attenuate catecholamines and MI recurrence and thus may be an effective adjunct in post-MI care.