They say laughter is the best medicine. And according to a recent study, laughter and meditation have one thing in common which is having the same brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are responsible for the good effects of both to the body. Following this line of thought, is it safe to say that meditation is also considered the best medicine?
If we base it on the study conducted at Loma Linda University, the answer may be yes.
The study included 31 people who were hooked up to an EEG monitor — which measures density of brain wave frequencies — as they watched 10-minute video clips. The clips had either humorous, distressing or spiritual tones.
When the participants watched the humorous videos — which provoked humor-associated mirthful laughter — their brains produced significant gamma wave levels, similar to what you’d see when a person meditates. Meanwhile, when they watched the spiritual videos, their brains produced significant alpha brain wave bands, similar to what you’d see when a person is at rest. And when they watched the distressing videos, their brains produced flat brain wave bands, similar to what you’d see when a person is detached and doesn’t want to be in a situation, researchers noted.
“We suggest HAML [humor associated mirthful laughter] may be another non-pharmacological lifestyle intervention to provide health, wellness [and] adjunctive therapeutic benefits,” the researchers wrote in the study.
The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 conference; because they have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, they should be considered preliminary.
Berk’s previous research has also showed an association between mirthful laughter and blood pressure, as well as levels of hormones linked to appetite. Other research has linked mirthful laughter with improved immune functioning and decreased stress.