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St. Luke's Blogs

Heart Month Tip #13: Laugh!

February 13, 2015

From Craig Jelsovsky, Cardiovascular Nurse

“Laughter is good medicine” is a pearl of wisdom that goes all the way back to the days of Solomon. And today’s medical science shows the great king knew what he was talking about. We now know that laughter doesn’t just make you feel good—it actually stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins released by your brain. Laughter leads to the release of nitric oxide, which dilates your blood vessels and reduces inflammation. The dilation is similar to the effects of aerobic exercise or cholesterol-lowering drugs, but more immediate. Laughter also reduces stress hormones, boosts the immune system, and can ease pain, depression, and anxiety.

Craig’s got rhythm

As a nurse with St. Luke’s Heart Rhythm Center, Craig works daily with patients who have arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and implantable devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. Today’s technology is safer, more efficient, and more convenient than ever before, Craig says. “We can get data from a person’s implanted device through remote monitoring right from their home, so they don’t have to come into the clinic as often for a check-up. Because we can monitor the device every day, it serves as an early warning system so we know right away if a problem develops.”

Learn more about treatment options for arrhythmias at St. Luke’s Heart Rhythm Center.