Hospital Leads Seminar on Diabetes and Laughter

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ORANGE CITY, Fla., March 29, 2017 On National American Diabetes Association Alert Day, March 28, the community joined Florida Hospital Fish Memorial for a free seminar on how laughter can help those with diabetes.

National American Diabetes Association Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March. This one-day observance aims to inform Americans about the seriousness of diabetes and encourages community members to learn their family history of diabetes, as well as their personal risk for this far too common disease.

Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes. That's almost 30 million people, which is a staggering number. Of those, about 30 percent are undiagnosed and don't even know they have diabetes, said Joyce Parrillo, Florida Hospital DeLand diabetes and wellness program coordinator. This is a huge concern because, when diabetes is not managed, it can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as kidney failure.

Diane Trask, a laughter therapist, licensed mental health counselor, and Florida Hospital Community Care health coach coordinator, led the seminar and taught attendees various laughter exercises that can help reduce and relieve the stress that diabetes and other chronic conditions can cause.

For those who are living with diabetes, there are so many health complications this disease can cause, but laughter therapy can make a real difference. There is research that shows that laughter can actually improve the immune system, relax muscles, alleviate pain, and even lower blood pressure, Trask said. When we make a laughter sound, it doesn't matter if the laugh is a real or natural laugh, our brain will still respond. If you smile for three minutes, even if it isn't a genuine smile, you will still release endorphins in your brain."

About Florida Hospital Fish Memorial

Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 175-beds, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 923 beds and more than 6,000 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements.

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