Tuesday, June 9, 2009

why do they call it a funny bone?

you know how when you whack your elbow, and you get that super-icky tingly thing that shoots up your arm and down to your fingertips? and you hop around like a loony bird, holding your elbow until that super-icky tingly thing stops? is that funny to you? i mean, does it make you laugh?

didn't think so. me neither. for the longest time, i wondered why they called it a funny bone, cuz it sure didn't feel funny to me. although, i admit, more often than not it's funny to anyone who might see you hopping around after you've whacked it. sadists! anyway, i'm not sure why it took me so long to find out why they call it a funny bone, but i finally did some research. (can you imagine? research on the funny bone? yep. my brain does weird stuff like that sometimes.) so i went to wikipedia to see if there was actually a posting about it, and sure enough, there it was. (ya gotta love that site. man. you can look up pretty much anything your weird brain can think of. cool stuff.)

turns out there's a nerve in the arm, a pretty big nerve, called the ulnar nerve. it runs near, yep...you guessed it...the ulna bone. seems this nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body that's unprotected. meaning unprotected by any muscle or bone. so anyway, there's another bone in the arm called the humerus. so some madcap scientist must've thought it'd be funny to make a pun outta that: humerus...humorous...funny bone. get it? zany scientists!

well anyway, so now i know why it's called the funny bone, but i still don't think it's funny. which then led me to another course of research...(i told you, my brain does stuff like that.) so i started looking for research about laughter and all the hub-bub around it's healing affects. now there was some fun reading! (what can i say? i'm easily entertained.) it seems there's a bunch of research on the topic of laughter and medicine. and from most accounts, laughter actually DOES help heal us. in lots of ways. now we're gettin' somewhere...

just a few of said benefits are:

~lowering of blood pressure

~strengthening of cardiovascular functions

~reduction of stress hormones

~improved circulation

~increase of muscle flexion

~oxygenating the body by boosting the respiratory system

~boosting immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gammainterferon and B-cells, which produce disease-
destroying antibodies

~triggering the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers

~producing a general sense of well-being

whew! who knew???

well, apparently there are a boatload of people who knew...and they're spreading the word. in fact, it's becoming a pretty popular "prescription" by many a health practitioner these days. yea. doctors are actually telling their patients to laugh...a LOT...to reduce pain and to shorten their recovery time. whether it's heart surgery or cancer treatment, it seems laughter can cut recovery time by almost HALF!!! can you imagine?!

so i thought i'd share some of this with you. just in case you're not feeling all that terrific. give it a try. for more than 30 seconds. if you're feeling less-than-stellar, stop what you're doing, take 30 minutes and find something that makes you laugh your butt off. see if you don't feel better.

i dare ya.

No comments: