Laughter is the Best Medicine With No Side Effects

Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the October Grand Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church. I believe that when we perform the Service spiritedly and in unity, as we have today, God the Parent and Oyasama are truly satisfied with our efforts.

Laughter is the Best Medicine With No Side Effects

When we are laughing, we cannot see how happy our face is. In other words the smiling face is to show other people how joyous life can be. On the other hand, when people frown too often, the muscles which forms the frown stiffens and our face become sullen or gloomy. For those people, it becomes difficult to smile or to laugh. The cheerful smile creates a happy and bright atmosphere for the people around. A dark or gloomy face makes people unhappy and apprehensive. So we should keep in mind how our face influences our health and the people around us. We should not only try to smile, but laughter also promotes good health. Furthermore laughter helps to heal illness, which was proven through research done Dr. Kazuo Murakami with a team scientists.

Dr. Murakami is professor emeritus at Tsukuba University, in Japan. He is also a scientist and a devout Tenrikyo follower.

The study appeared in the United States in the May 2003 issue of Diabetes Care bulletin. We have introduced the relationship of laughter and genes in a 2006 sermon, so it is not something new. There is a proverb which says, “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. So I would like to talk to you about the effectiveness of laughter in curing illness.

The study of type II diabetes, the most common form of the disease, found that laughter was linked to lower blood sugar levels after a meal.

Over two days, participants were given identical meals. On one day, they watched a humorless lecture, and the next they watched a Japanese comedy show. The group of nineteen people with diabetes and five without had their blood sugar monitored during the study. Afterward both diabetics and non diabetics alike had lower blood glucose (sugar) levels after laughing through the comedy show than they did when they listened to the monotonous lecture.

The researchers also found the same results in people without diabetes. They cannot yet explain the laughter-glucose connection. It could be that laughter affects the neuroendocrine system, which monitors the body’s glucose levels. Or it may be an effect of energy used by the stomach muscles.

One of the researchers said, “If positive emotion such as laughter reduced blood glucose, both patients and medical providers would recognize the importance of it and it would improve the mental health and quality of life. We should laugh more.”

Plenty of studies have shown that laughter can combat many common ills. For instance, research suggests that humor may lower blood pressure and release endorphins. Laughter is also thought to improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, heighten the immune system and make the heart stronger.

Dr. Murakami also conducted research on genes and found out that when we use our minds in a good way a switch on the good gene turns “on” and our bad genes turns “off.” When we do good things the good genes turn “on.”

By laughing the good genes’ switches were turned “on” and the bad genes were turned “off.” This tremendous and marvelous working is done by what Dr. Murakami calls, “Something Great.”

He says that this is the law of the universe, which is the marvelous working of God the Parent. Every one of us has hidden potential possibilities which can be drawn out according to our use of mind. This shows that “something great” can happen to anyone by turning “on” the good genes switch.

In another study, researchers had arthritis patients listen to a comedy show for one hour. The arthritis patients are feeling positive the pain is lessened. When they are depressed the pain increases. After the comedy show the patients’ pains were reduced and they were able to enjoy three weeks without pain. (from Michi no Tomo, May 2006, p. 22, a Tenrikyo publication)

The word “present” has too meanings. One is the “gift” and the other means “now”. I take this to mean that the present time, “now” is a present or gift from God. This means that we should live the fullest and to the best of our ability now.

Rev. Murakami, who as a scientist, met the Dalai Lama XIV, and had several discussions. He asked the Dalai Lama, “When was the best time of your life?” The Dalai Lama promptly answered: “Now is the best time of my life!”

When we are laughing, we don’t think about our past or future and we forget our pain. We become joyous by laughing and become immersed in the present moment and forget about our illness. In addition, now is the best and happiest time of our life. It means to appreciate the blessings of the marvelous and majestic presence of nature and the present.

In the Osashizu, June 1, 1889 it says

“With human beings; the body is a thing lent by God, a thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours. From our one mind any Truth can be revealed.”



  1. Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts to pay for paint and supplies for the repainting of Pearl Church which was complete earlier this month. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals. I would like to thank those you came out to the painting hinokishin. Thank you very much.

  2. We would like to encourage people to attend monthly service practice held on the Thursday night prior to the monthly service at 7pm. Please join us so that we may give our best effort in performing the monthly service.

  3. This is the last monthly service for 2010, I would like to thank everyone for your support given to us and the church throughout the year. Thank you very much!

  4. Please welcome new faces…

  5. Presentation by Hawaii Convention Representative Mr. David Inouye.

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