Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP
Based on progressive research we find that what we think about and what we feel have far-ranging effects on our immune system.
One important part of our immune system includes the natural killer cell or NK cells. These are a type of lymphocyte and an important player in the war on invading bad microbes and mounting an immune attack to combat these bad microbes. NK cells are known to be protective against cancer. Some studies have documented that the less active your NK cells are the more rapid cancer progression and the more it spreads throughout the body.
And guess what?
These important NK cells actually respond to your mood.
One of the most important actions (or reactions) to boost these NK cells is laughter.
When you are feeling good, optimistic and happy your NK cells multiply exponentially!
If you are a known pessimist, there is still hope for you.
A study done at the University of California showed that actors who spent time performing depressing movie scenes had a decreased immune responsiveness. On the other hand actors who performed roles where they were uplifting, had an increased immune responsiveness. So the moral of the story is something called, Fake it till you make it. Yes, even if you don’t feel happy, at least act like you do! Your body’s immune system will reward you for it.
Take it from Norman Cousins, referred to as “the father of laughter therapy”, after being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an intensely painful and crippling form of arthritis, reported that laughter was a major part of his recovery plan.
Soon after his diagnosis he set up a movie projector in his hospital room and frequently watched Marx Brothers movies to evoke constant laughter. Over several months he regained motion in his joints and felt the pain disappear. He eventually made a nearly full recovery from this “incurable” disease.
Here is a good punch list to improve your mood and of course boost your NK cells: These include: watching funny movies, making music or listening to uplifting music, coloring in books, walking in the woods, going to a comedy show, spending time with good uplifting friends to something as simple as taking a soaking bath with relaxing herbs.