Announcing: Three New Ways to Avoid Winter Illness

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Dr Murray Grossan presents three sure-fire ways to cut illness in offices and the workplace – smiling, humor and humming.

Science shows that smiling, humor and humming a cheerful song raises your immunity to keep you well.

Dr Grossan: “Yes, flu shots and hand washing are a sensible way to stay well during winter cold season. However smiling, humor and humming need to be added to your stay-well routine.”

The recommendations of smiling and humor come from the science of psychoneuroimmunology – which studies the chemical/brain changes that take place in immunity. (Light)

Psychoneuroimmunology has demonstrated how humor and smiling can affect health. This science studies the interaction between behavior and the immune system, and how this affects the endocrine and nervous system. (Irwin)

How this method evolved:
Originally a popular editor, Norman Cousins, was dying in UCLA hospital (Los Angeles). Doctors couldn’t help him. His friends brought in a movie projector and a screen and showed him funny movies. He laughed and got well. He later wrote a book, “Anatomy of an Illness” published in 1981 describing why this worked. Since then, this science has worked to identify the exact chemistry and brain function related to joy. This is the reason why there are two comedy TV channels in the UCLA hospital rooms.

Humor: studies have shown that laughing, humor, and even smiling will increase a person’s resistance to colds and winter flu. Therefore, in the office or workplace, the more the humor, the better the natural immunity to ward off infection. (Morgan)

The use of humor can be increased by having a bulletin board where jokes and funny cartoons can be posted. Another method it to have contests for the best joke and the best cartoon.

Humming. Everyone should be encouraged to hum a happy tune. Humming, especially at a low pitch like “oooommmm’ vibrates the breathing passages. That vibration gets nasal cilia – the tiny oars that move bacteria out of the nose and bronchial passages – to move faster, because they tend to pulse at the same rate as the vibrating air. This works because the vibration breaks up the thickened outer layer of mucus that lines the breathing passages. That allows better movement of the nasal and bronchial cilia so that they move more effectively.(Grossan )

Just physically smiling can make a huge difference in whether you catch a cold; even how you handle cancer! (Lee)

Grossan: “I recommend that one afternoon be set aside. Anyone who isn’t smiling has to put a dime into the charity box.”

In the Morgan study, he concludes that. “Mind-body therapies reduce markers of inflammation and influence virus-specific immune responses.” This would explain why persons who smile catch fewer colds.

In one study, store employees were coached on smiling and showing a pleasant face to their customers. Sales increased as expected; but “sick days” off work decreased. (Chang)

A recent article entitled “Happy –Go – Lucky CEO’s score better returns “ reports on an article that shows that a cheerful manner of the company CEO affected company earnings. (Davis)

Grossan: “Admittedly there may be little to smile about in the daily work place. But studies show that even in the worst situations, such as being in jail, humor and jokes can affect immunity. In one example, a grieving widow received this advice in order to stay well for her child’s sake. Despite her grief she did her best to make a smile and stayed well.”

Winter colds and flu take a terrible toll each year. Here are three sure fire ways to stay well – just smile, tell jokes and hum a happy tune! More important, science supports this way to better health.

Dr Murray Grosan in the founder of Hydro Med Inc where he develops products that reduce the need for antibiotics, medication or surgery. He is a board certified Otolaryngologist with 30 + original published articles. His book, “Stressed? Anxiety? Your Cure is in the Mirror” is about applying psychoneruoimmunology to general health.

Chang J, Zhang M, Hitchman G, Qiu J, Liu Y. When you smile, you become happy: Evidence from resting state task-based fMRI. Biol Psychol. 2014 Dec;103:100-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Davis A, Zhang J, Ge W, Matsumoto D.
The effect of manager-specific optimism on the tone of earnings conference calls. Review of Accounting Studies. October 2014

Grossan M. Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems – Pemanently. 2009. Hydro Med Publications.

Irwin MR. Human psychoneuroimmunology: 20 years of discovery .Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Feb;22(2):129-39.

Lee J1, Teo I, Guindani M, Reece GP, Markey MK, Fingeret MC. Associations between psychosocial functioning and smiling intensity in patients with head and neck cancer. Psychol Health Med. 2014 Aug 27:1-8.

Light SN1, Moran ZD2, Swander L2, Le V2, Cage B2, Burghy C2, Westbrook C2, Greishar L2, Davidson RJ2.Electromyographically Assessed Empathic Concern and Empathic Happiness Predict Increased Prosocial Behavior in Adults.Biol Psychol. 2014 Dec 5. pii: S0301-0511(14)00256-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.11.015.

Morgan N1, Irwin MR2, Chung M3, Wang C1.The effects of mind-body therapies on the immune system: meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 2;9(7):e100903. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100903. eCollection 2014.

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