Laughter: Contagious Medicine To Help With The Coronavirus Pandemic

Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.

I DON’T NEED TO TELL you THAT these are challenging times. Just consider that an invisible non-living entity called Covid 19 can change our current state of affairs, personally and globally.  Sounds like science fiction.  We are being inundated with some good common sense information on how to protect ourselves from this virus and yet I believe that information is not enough. Is it fear that will instigate us to take preventive actions? Is it love and wisdom?  Whatever it is, we each can act on what we think is best for us.  

I had been looking forward to giving two presentations at Newport Beach for the Inside Edge Foundation, one on cells, the other, a wine tasting. But my better judgement said to postpone rather than being a high-risk flyer. Yet I was able to turn the disappointment around by offering a new online immune program to the group.  

This has taken me to my roots in science, first as a graduate student studying influenza viruses, to post-doctoral training in immunology to morphing into a teacher of a new field called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), mindbody medicine. Which brings me to this article.

We all know, or hear, that our immune health is compromised by stress. But what does stress actually do? First of all stress is not an event, it is a perception of a threat. The threat doesn’t have to be real.  It can be worry, an imagined ‘what if.’  Our cells respond as if the threat is real, using our energy and resources to fight or run away from the threat. That means energy is used for immediate survival actions, shuttled away from long term survival strategies of the body, like digestion, reproduction and immune functions. So a most important preventive measure is to shift our thinking from threat and reducing our stress levels.  

One proven way to do this is to believe and know that you have some control over the situation.  We may not be able to change the growing pandemic but we can manage how we view it and manage our own lives. Turn down stress and fear, turn off the onslaught of the news, watch videos that make you laugh. This is not wishful thinking that laughter can improve your immune health.  Research from Harvard was one of the first to show that they could lower illness in worried college students taking final exams, who were at high risk for respiratory infections.  How did they do that, keep them healthy? The researchers showed that if the students watched 15-20 minutes of funny movies they increased salivary IgA (sIgA), the first line of defense against respiratory infections. Before this intervention, the worried students had much lower levels of sIgA.

sIgA can neutralize viruses trying to enter through the mouth. Stress, loneliness, depression and guilt all lower our sIgA. So one way to take care of your self in these uncertain times, find something to laugh about.  

I will be offering a free immune health video in two weeks, email me if you are interested in receiving this free digital download. In 4 weeks I will be starting up another Secrets of Your Cells Book club course, which will take you deeply into your superpowers of cell health and wisdom.  Register before March 31st to save money and add a friend for free!  

Stay well and bring pleasure into your life.  ~All the best, Sondra Barrett


About Sondra:

Sondra Barrett, PhD, has been on the forefront teaching bodymind health practices integrating science and spirituality for more than 30 years. Former UCSF Medical School faculty,
she works with health professionals and individuals challenging cancer, heart disease, and/or autoimmune conditions. Author of 3 books Secrets of Your Cells, Ultimate Immunity, and Wine's Hidden Beauty, Sondra brings together a unique understanding of cellular wisdom, creative expression and practical skills for daily life. Award-winning photographer, student of shamanism and qigong, she is advisor to Rainbow Valley Cancer Charity in Scotland and works individually as a health guide. See more of Sondra's amazing work at:

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28 Mar 2020

By Sondra Barrett, PhD