- Pages: 3
- Word count: 632
- Category: Medicine
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Laughter therapy is a form of therapy that encourages people to use the natural, physiological process of laugher to release painful emotions like anger, fear, helplessness, depression and stress. Humour helps give us perspective to our problems and makes us have a positive and hopeful attitude, that is why it is such a great relaxation method. The first documented case of “humour positively affecting disease” was in 1964 when Norman Cousins, published “Anatomy of an Illness”. Medical professionals were shown that humour reversed Cousins’ ankylosing spondylitis, a painful disease causing the disintegration of the spinal connective tissue. With a one in five hundred chance of recovery, Norman decided to infuse himself with humour treatments. With Norman’s self-designed humour treatments, he found that 15 minutes of hardy laughter could produce two hours of pain free sleep. Blood samples also showed that his inflammation level was lowered after the humour treatments. Eventually Norman Cousins was able to completely reverse the illness. He later documented his story in a book he called “Anatomy Of an Illness.”
Today, the interest in humourous effects has grown so much that the medical field has named it psychoneuroimmunology, the study of how psychological factors, the brain and the immune system interact to influence health.
The techniques used for laughter or humour therapy are all different. First and most common is speakers and speeches. They teach you how to laugh at yourself and your daily problems and to clear you mind. Enda Junkins is a very well known “laughter psychotheripast” who has given speeches and written many books about laughter therapy. Books are another technique. Books give you techniques for your future on how to deal with your problems through laughter. Lastly, there are many videos to watch and to help you feel better about yourself and your problems.
Laughter therapy doesn’t just relax you and relieve stress it also;
Muscle Relaxation – While you laugh, the muscles that do not participate in the belly laugh, relaxes. After you finish laughing those muscles involved in the laughter start to relax.
Reduction of Stress Hormones – Laughter reduces at least four of neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress; epinephrine, cortisol, dopac, and growth hormone.
Enhances Immune System – Clinical studies have shown that humour strengthens the immune system.
Pain Reduction – Humour allows a person to “forget” about pains such as aches, arthritis, etc.
Cardiac Exercise – A belly laugh is equivalent to “an internal jogging.” Laughter can provide good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform physical exercises.
Respiration – Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect, similar to deep breathing. Especially beneficial for patient’s who are suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.
Laughter or humour therapy is available in our community. Mike Moore is a motivational speaker who offers humour therapy throughout Southern Ontario. His prices range from $1,500 to $ 2,500. Also, Doug Hunt, (A.K.A. Doug the Great) offers laughter therapy, along with Randy Papple, (A.K.A. Bandaid the Clown).
Personally, I would try this type of relaxation. I strongly believe that laughter is the best medicine and the happier you are, the healthier you are.
Laughter therapy is something different to try when you are stressed and need to be relaxed. It is a proven method to make you become healthier. According to the County Health Unit, people who participate in laughter therapy produce a higher level in their immune system and can fight off illnesses, like the flu and common cold, better than a person who doesn’t. I would recommend laughter therapy to someone who has a lot of stress in their life and needs to relax in a natural way.