Physical Benefits cont. Enhances oxygen intake Stimulates the heart and lungs Triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) Eases digestion/soothes stomach aches (Smith, Kemp, & Segal)
Laughter provides exercise by increasing heart rate, stimulating blood circulation and breathing and improving muscle tone. You can double your heart rate by watching a Laurel and Hardy movie. It has been calculated that 100 laughs equal ten minutes on a rowing machine. It is called "inner jogging“, (Bottari).
Benefits Of Laughter Mental Health Benefits: Adds joy and zest to life Eases anxiety and fear Relieves stress Improves mood Enhances resilience (Smith et al.)
Benefits of Laughter Social Benefits: Strengthens relationships Attracts others to us Enhances teamwork Helps defuse conflict Promotes group bonding (Smith et al.)
Laughter Therapy Laughter therapy, also called humor therapy, is the use of humor to promote overall health and wellness. It aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort. (“Laughter therapy”)
Laughter Therapy For years, the use of humor has been used in medicine. Surgeons used humor to distract patients from pain as early as the 13th century. Later, in the 20th century, came the scientific study of the effect of humor on physical wellness. (“Laughter therapy”) Therapeutic laughter fitness originated in India in the 1990s when Dr. Madan Kataria, a believer in the healing powers of laughter, took a group to a public park to laugh. (Phinney, 2006)
Adverse Effects of Laughter Therapy The only adverse side effect of humor therapy is that it can cause mental hurt, sadness, and alienation in persons who are not receptive to it, or if it is used insensitively (Wells, 2005).
Laughter and the Brain (Phinney, 2006)
How to add laughter to your life Smile Count your Blessings When you hear laughter move towards it Spend time with fun playful people Bring humor into conversations (Smith et al.)
References Bottari, A. C. (n.d.). Humor and healing. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from Kataria, M. (n.d.) Minnesota Laughter Yoga. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from Laughter therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2010 from therapy.cfm therapy.cfm Phinney, S. (2006, March 14). Humor has fans in medical circles. Seattle Pi. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from Smith, M., Kemp, G., Segal, J. (n.d.). Laughter is the best medicine. Retrieved March 12, 2010 from Wells, K. (2005.) Humor Therapy. Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Retrieved March 12, 2010 from