Free massage – are you having a laugh?
Category: Health Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Everybody loves a free massage. Well, here you go:
A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The driver says: "Ugh, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen."
The woman walks to the back of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: "The driver just insulted me!" The man says: "You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I'll hold your monkey for you."
Hopefully that made you laugh! If it did, you just got a free massage!!
How Laughter Massages You Better
From reducing stress and anxiety to relieving pain, massage is a widely accepted complementary therapy that can work on its own or alongside conventional medicine. But what does laughing have to do with any of that?
Well, when you laugh wholeheartedly, an entire range of physical and biological reactions occur all over your body.
We're all familiar with the positive changes a good joke can bring to facial expressions. Some 40 or so face muscles contract and expand rapidly whenever you chuckle, snort or whatever else it is you do when laughing out loud. But have you ever thought about what is going on in the rest of your body during a good laugh?
Your rate of breathing changes and - during really good humour - you may even find yourself gasping for breath, wiping your eyes clean of tears or even crossing your legs to stop yourself from peeing!
But down below there’s even more happening. Ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt?
When you laugh uncontrollably, your diaphragm (a large dome shaped muscle just below your lungs responsible for controlling your breathing) involuntarily contracts and expands. Violently and repeatedly - it's where the expression "fits of laughter" comes from.
These convulsions in turn pull on your lateral muscles, lower ribs and abdomen. In fact the organs and muscles all around your whole midriff receive a really good jiggle around and an increased supply of oxygenated blood whenever you laugh. Not unlike when you get a good massage!
And just like massage too, laughter relieves stress. When you laugh, your brain cells receive an oygen boost through increased blood circulation whilst your mind and body benefit from a surge of feel-good happy hormones.
All of which adds up to feeling better. Try it sometime, laughter really is one of life's greatest medicines.
Should I pay or should I go
Making a friend laugh is a wonderful and uplifting experience. For them of course, but also for you.
So the next time you fancy a free massage, just get together with a good friend and have a laugh. Let yourself go and laugh until it almost hurts. We can promise you it'll feel great and you'll get an inner body massage at the same time thrown in for free!
If you are short on comedy, try giving each other an easy to learn foot massage - that usually gets the giggles going!
Or you could opt for a professional. It may not be free but the very best comedians make us laugh deeply because they know how to connect precisely to our innermost feelings. They warm you up so that you are relaxed before the main event, they prod around lightly gauging your sensitivity, and then when they hit the spot they dig deeper relentlessly until you are putty in their hands. Sound familiar? Yep, comedians make us feel better through empathy … just like the very best massage therapists!
And just like the cost of a professional massage, when you consider the potential long-term health benefits, having a good laugh is absolutely excellent value for money.