So what exactly happens to us when we laugh?
When we laugh, hundreds of muscles in our head, diaphragm, and abdomen tense up – which explains why fits of laughter can make us feel achy the next day. A hearty laugh also forces breath out of our lungs, causing our heart rate to increase and oxygen-rich blood to be pumped throughout the body. This trains our breathing and stimulates our cardiovascular system, metabolism and even our immune system. And if that wasn’t enough, a good giggle can have a relaxing effect too, as it relieves mental pressure, releases endorphins and reduces stress hormones. So there we have it, laughter seems to have a hugely beneficial impact on both our mental and physical health, making it (aside from exercise) the best free medecine out there!
But can you heal yourself with laughter?
Although laughter cannot heal illnesses per se, it undeniably activates our self-healing powers and can therefore work a miracle or two. An example of this is cancer-stricken diplomat and author Norman Cousins, who lived 26 years longer than doctors predicted by throwing away his medication, moving into a hotel, and only surrounding himself with things that made him laugh. “Hospital clowns” and unusual life stories like that of Norman Cousins echo the long-standing claim: humour promotes general health and stimulates the healing process. Plus, laughter has also been shown to have a favourable effect on various lifestyle diseases like high blood sugar, thanks to its stress-relieving qualities.
Laughter doesn’t miss a trick
But laughter isn’t just healthy, it’s also the easiest trick to lift your mood. A study on body feedback (the influence of posture, movement and facial expression) shows how posture can affect our feelings: if we have a positive body expression (e.g. a smile) during a task, we perceive it more positively, while a negative expression (e.g. a frown) yields a more negative response. When we smile – be it from genuine emotion or not – our mouth will communicate to our brain that we’re happy. That said, if you feel like you’re constantly having to “fake” a smile due to work, peer or family pressures, this could end up becoming more detrimental than anything else. So you also have to consider the intention – smiling shouldn’t be used as a mask to suppress feelings, but rather as a tool to relieve pressure.
How VAHA can bring a smile to your face
Right, so what does all this have to do with VAHA? The answer is pretty simple: if you feel good, you smile more – which your VAHA can certainly help you with. A proper workout reduces pent-up stress and boosts your feel-good hormones just as well as a good chuckle does. And when you’re feeling proud of yourself after completing a session, the grin even comes on naturally. So although there’s no real magic behind VAHA, the combination of expertise, premium quality, high-tech materials and cutting-edge technology that go into our fitness mirrors are sure to have your reflection smiling right back at you!
Try our 30-day free trial and find the perfect flow to make you smile and suit your lifestyle!