Laughter

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Patients, doctors and health-care professionals are all finding that laughter may indeed be the best medicine We were born with the gift of laughter. Laughter is a natural medicine. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. Laughter is a contagious emotion. It can bring people together. It can help us feel more alive and empowered. 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. A growing body of research supports the theory that laughter may have therapeutic value. 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. Many credit this to Norman Cousins. After years of prolonged pain from a serious illness, Cousins claims to have cured himself with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins. In his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins describes how watching comedic movies helped him recover. Laughter can help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. Laughter can be a natural diversion. When you laugh, no other thought comes to mind. Laughing can also induce physical changes in the body. After laughing for only a few minutes, you may feel better for hours. According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to: Relax muscles throughout the body

Relieve pain
Balance blood pressure
Improve overall attitude
Reduce stress/tension
Promote relaxation
Improve sleep
Enhance quality of life
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