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In recent years, studies have shown a strong link between our emotions and cardiovascular health.

Research shows that hostility, anger, depression, anxiety and social isolation all lead to higher rates of heart disease.

The reverse is true as well: Laughter, happiness and a sense of humor actually can help you to stay healthy. Research suggests laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol, says the American Heart Association (AHA).

The positive effects of laughter last 24 hours, the AHA says.

Here are three ways in which laughter can give you a healthier heart:

1. Increased blood flow

Researchers at University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter increases your blood flow by dilating the inner lining of blood vessels, which is called the endothelium.

Laughter causes the release of beta-endorphins in the hypothalamus, which leads to the release of nitric oxide, which dilates the vessels.

Nitric oxide is a chemical that also protects the heart by reducing inflammation and preventing formation ofcholesterol plaque.

The researchers said the change in the endothelium caused by laughter appears to be similar to the benefits of aerobic exercise or the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins. The difference is that laughter is spontaneous and has an immediate effect.

2. Less stress hormones

Laughter has also been shown to have beneficial effects on other aspects of our biochemistry. For example, it leads to a reduction in stress hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine. Stress causes our blood vessels to constrict.

3. Antibody boost

Laughter boosts the number of antibody-producing cells, which leads to a stronger immune system.

“The benefits of laughter cannot be understated,” says cardiologist Benico Barzilai, MD. “Laughter leads to an immediate reduction in the body’s negative response to stress and causes the blood vessels of the body — including the heart — to increase blood flow as needed.”

Researchers are just beginning to understand all that laughter can do to promote heart health. There is some thought that laughing on a regular basis can even reduce your risk for a heart attack.

Here are a few suggestions to reduce stress and laugh more:

  • Look at the lighter side of things
  • Spend more quality time with loved ones who bring joy and laughter
  • Catch a comedy on TV or at the movies

By making humor a regular part of your life, you can have a big impact on your own heart health.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/08/3-ways-laughter-can-give-healthier-heart-2/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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