Using Laughter as Medicine

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Using Laughter as Medicine

The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is one that many people know. But is this actually true? Can laughter be used as a form of curing the body? With three out of four adults claiming to laugh four or more times a day (Polaroid Corp, 2004) it is something that is obviously easy to do, and of which the answer to the time old question of whether or not it is the best medicine, might surprise many skeptics out there.

To laugh is defined as: “to express certain emotions, especially mirth or delight, by a series of spontaneous, usually unarticulated sounds often accompanied by corresponding facial and bodily movements” (Dictionary, 2013). This simple act has been suggested to boost immunity, lower stress hormone, decrease pain, relax muscles, and prevent heart disease (Smith & Segal, 2012), and those are just the physical health benefits. Other studies have suggested that laughter is a great way to ease anxiety and fear, relieve stress, improve mood, and even enhance resilience (Bennett et al., 2003). Not to mention that sharing a good laugh with friends and family can bring these relationships closer (Bennett et al., 2003).

The idea that the use of laughter can be used as a form of making one feel better, or as what is known to many today as, medicine, is not a new one--but one that is gaining much more popularity and interest with practitioners as one having some actual truth to it, today. The bible even makes reference to this
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