BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Learn About the Healing Power and Benefits of Laughter
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|Being sincere is good, but being too serious is not. Stress damages your immune ability and numerous medical studies have found that stress is the preliminary cause of most diseases. Stress kills! A good dose of laughter each day literally keeps the doctor away. |
One such doctor who proved this was Patch Adams. He is both a medical doctor and a clown, but he is also a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system, a system which he describes as expensive and elitist.
He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process and therefore true health care must incorporate such life. He found laughter therapy greatly reduced the patients need for medication and helped speed up the recovery process.
Patch and his colleagues practiced medicine through laughter at the Gesundheit Institute in West Virgina for 12 years in what he calls their "pilot project." During this time, they saw 15,000 patients. Patch Adams has devoted his life to the study of what makes people happy. If you’re curious about learning more, you can watch his life story on the big screen in Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams.
THE FACTS OF LAUGHTER
It only takes a few muscles to smile, but five times more to frown. This shows that frowning uses more energy and depletes your vitality to be upset. So why do it?
There are hundreds of metabolic shifts and changes that take place in the human body when you laugh.
Laughing relieves the stress that can make you ill.
- It also increases almost every known aspect of your immune system.
There are many reports of people who have laughed their way to health, actually curing Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease and many other killer diseases.
The latest trend in fitness is a new workout based on laughter therapy, called Laughter Yoga – very popular in parts of India. Using the rhythmic breathing styles of yoga combined with purposeful chuckles, it has already invaded more than 5,000 yoga studios worldwide. The concept of Laughter - Hasya - Yoga was created by Dr .Madan Kataria, who based the new form of movement on the benefits of laughter, especially in terms of stress. Kataria has made numerous claims about the benefits of laughter over the years: that it alleviates stress, boosts the immune system and so reduces the risk of minor ailments like colds and flu, wards off depression, and acts as its own form of exercise. His central contention is that the body doesn't know the difference between fake laughter and the real thing, so the exercises benefit the body regardless. As he and his army of teachers like to put it: "Fake it until you make it."
FRIENDSHIP AND LAUGHTER From my own experience, I know that it works. If I am feeling a bit panicky or run down, the best cure is a double dose of the show Friends (thank goodness for re-runs), but you can choose any comedy you like as long as it makes you laugh till your sides ache. Another good cure is to spend the day with a particularly funny friend. They can lift your spirits in the blink of an eye. Some people learn a new joke every day or read a funny book to keep their laughter going. I found ‘The World According to Clarkson’ by Jeremy Clarkson to be particularly good. Although, when I kept bursting into laughter sitting by the pool I did receive some odd looks.
Laughter therapy is freeing; you can use it when ever you want, for as long as you want. Start laughing today, force it if you have to until it comes naturally. You’ll begin to feel yourself change when you laugh! It feels good - and if it feels good, then IT’S GOOD FOR YOU.
Article Written By: Nicola McGeorge; Nicola was born in London, England and is a freelance writer and model. She covers a wide range of topics, and has been published worldwide.