Laughter heals and prolongs our lives; at the same time, laughter is a therapy that costs nothing.
We all like to have fun from time to time, and then we have the opportunity to notice the beneficial effects that laughter has on us. Laughter (and his “little brother”, smile) is a good means of communication, but also a way of relaxing and eliminating some inner tensions.
It can be triggered reflexively – for example, at a simple tickle – or it can be produced by a psychic or emotional stimulus.
Every emotion we experience influences our health. Thus, it is known that fear or depression decreases muscle strength and the ability to make effort. In contrast, scientific studies show that laughter has a tonic effect both on the lungs and circulation, as well as on the entire body. It equates to an intense physical exercise, which puts the blood in motion and generates a general feeling of well-being.
“Laughter therapy” (practicing laughter as often as possible) makes us more optimistic, predisposes us to play and helps us relax and successfully overcome daily tensions and stresses, social or family obligations. Thus, laughter becomes a real element of “emotional hygiene”, which helps us to “cleanse” ourselves of negative emotions and to regain our state of candor and good mood.
A child laughs about 40 times a day for no reason, while an adult laughs on average 20 times a day. School, work, social conventions gradually cause us to become serious and lose the ability to laugh spontaneously. Laughter promotes oxygenation of the body and stimulates the diaphragm, thus contributing to the elimination of residues present in the lungs. In addition, it increases respiratory capacity and reduces muscle tensions. From a cardiovascular point of view, 20 seconds of intense laughter equates to 3 minutes of fast walking. And this is true even if we laugh for no reason or for pleasure, as if it were a therapy.
Several studies have concluded that laughter contributes considerably to:
- stress reduction
- increased tolerance to pain (postsurgical, migraines, arthritis)
- enlargement of NK cells, T lymphocytes and secretory IgA – three fundamental components of the immune system
- reduction of arterial pressure
- increasing the level of endorphins (“happiness hormones”)
In general, experimental studies consist of watching comedies in parallel with documentaries and then comparing analyses of biochemical reactions.
During a hearty portion of laughter, the body inhales more oxygen.
Laughter causes the muscles to contract, activates the internal organs, the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands (these are responsible for increasing the level of endorphins).
Lenny Ravich is one of the proponents of laughter therapy, his book being a living mirror of optimism.
Laughter therapy has sold over 50,000 copies, being a best-seller.
Here’s what the author urges us to do: “My advice to everyone is to find humor and good mood every day. We don’t stop laughing because we’re getting older. We’re getting older because we’ve stopped laughing. So let’s have dreams.
When we lose our dreams, we die. So a lot of people walk around like the dead, and they don’t even know that. Live your life, my dear reader, but don’t get attached to it. It’s a temporary gift. Choose love over fear. The opposite of love is not hate. It’s fear. Look at the world with love, laughter, humor and optimism – and all will come back to you in abundance… “
The ability to laugh consciously, for therapeutic purposes, appeared in 1964, when Norman Cousin treated a patient with a joint disease, a disease that at the time had no cure.
The patient abandoned drug treatment and classical therapy, and switched to therapy through emotions and positive suggestion. Thus, Cousin recommended that she watch comedy films daily for 30 minutes.
The therapist noticed that after this half hour of continuous laughter, the patient’s pains disappeared for at least two hours.
The treatment worked, and over time his immune system fully recovered.
The idea was also adopted by doctor Patch Adams in the early ’80s, when he began treating his patients dressed in clown clothes.
Later, the first “Laughter Club” led by Dr. Madan Kataria appeared in India, which was a tremendous success. Therapy has spread around the world, and now there are over 1000 such clubs.
You laugh from the heart, for the heart!
Cardiovascular disease specialists have shown, following a study conducted on a sample of 300 people, that people suffering from heart disease are very stressed and very serious.
The subjects stated that they laugh very little and rarely, given that those around them laugh a lot and with lust.
The conclusion reached by cardiologists is that laughter functions as a barrier against heart disease;
Laughter with roar should be part of the treatment of heart disease.
Other benefits of lynx:
• Stimulates memory, relaxes the psyche and develops imagination and creativity
• Relieves stress and pain
• Laughter stimulates the muscles of the abdomen and keeps them in shape
• Increases libido and stimulates the immune system
• Increases respiratory capacity
• Saves tense relationships and ensures the success of human relationships.
Although it seems hard to believe, there are contraindications for laughter therapy (not to be understood that laughter is completely forbidden):
- people suffering from glaucoma (eye disease), abdominal hernia, hemorrhoids
- women whose pregnancy poses a risk of miscarriage, etc., are not allowed to laugh excessively and intensely
But no affection can stop you from smiling whenever you have the opportunity!
Rasoteca from Cluj
In Romania there is only one institution where laughter therapy is performed. It is located in Cluj and is called Râsotecă. There, twice a week, people of all ages gather and participate in all kinds of funny games, which arouse their roar of laughter. The meetings start with a small warm-up in which they say “ho-ho-ho” and “ha-ha-ha”, and the group leader or moderator is the person who gives the indications.
Antidote to cancer
Lynx is a powerful anti-stress weapon, which causes blood pressure to lower.
It is clear that at the root of pathological manifestations, such as ulcers or myocardial infarction, is stress.
The same stress plays a determining role in cases of cancer.
Statistics show that often a cancer is detected 6-12 months after a major existential trauma (death, separation, rupture, unemployment, loss of money, etc.)
At least for certain individuals, the repression of the ability to express their usefulness also favors the appearance of a cancerous condition.
Laughter is a factor of liberation, of antistress therapy and as a harmonious way of expressing inner dynamism. He truly has a protective role against cancerous tumors . Even though some may not be so convinced that laughter necessarily increases the length of life, it is indisputable that it improves its quality.
The German doctor Rubinstein proposed a program of treatment through laughter aimed at bringing:
- an improvement in the general condition of man
- a lasting feeling of interior comfort
- a more relaxed attitude
- increasing the ability to cope with stress
- diminishing anxiety, nervousness and depressive ideas
- beneficial effects in treating high blood pressure, insomnia, headache, impotence, frigidity
This therapy constitutes a global approach of the individual through his body, a context in which laughter acts as a motor element of neurovegetative rebalancing.
Laughter therapy allows to act on patients on several levels simultaneously: mentally and physically, and if it is correlated with other types of natural therapeutic modalities, the chances of success of the treatment will increase considerably.
Astounding testimony – saved from cancer through laughter!
The hero (literally!) of this true story is Belgian, is called Jean – Pierre S.
At the time of these events, he was living with his wife and their three children in the small town of Templeuve in Belgium.
There was nothing to suggest that Jean-Pierre would face a major trial in his life.
He was the director of a bank branch, the family’s life unfolded quietly, in fullness and quietness;
the most important events they all attended were the boys’ football matches, and the holidays that the family offered themselves, once or twice a year. One day, Jean-Pierre began to remark that his health left something to be desired.
The doctor quickly diagnosed him with metastatic prostate cancer. The tumor had spread throughout the body.
Although the therapeutic recommendation was clear – chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy – doctors were very reserved about the prognosis.
Jean-Pierre went home and took a year off from work.
He underwent certain therapeutic procedures, but above all, he instinctively (!!!!) began to apply what he knew was doing him good:
- fed healthy, only with natural foods, as little chemically or thermally processed as possible
- slept enough
- avoided any form of stress
- took walks in nature, without making too much effort, however
- HE LAUGHED AS MUCH AS HE COULD!
The man watched comedy movies, funny shows and read humorous books or magazines as much as he could.
He never thought of death, nor could he afford to fear.
His contagious tone and optimism were also infused into the souls of family members, who admirably supported him throughout this life test.
When friends came to visit their home, Jean-Pierre invariably responded to questions about his condition: “I’m doing good, I’m about to expel a cancer from my body!”
At the end of 9 months (as long as the period of the coming into the world of a new soul!) of “self-therapy through laughter”, he reached the periodic medical check-up.
Jean-Pierre saw the oncologist sit in dismay on his bed.
He said, “Man, I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what you did…
but your body has defended itself by weaving some ormations around every tumor, which necrosis and dies inside!”
After another 5 months, Jean-Pierre stepped victoriously outside the hospital where he came for control: the cancer had been defeated completely, and definitively!
Today, our hero, equally optimistic and “smiling”, is actively campaigning in the League of Fight against Cancer.
He advises everyone to maintain their health by applying his “recipe”: healthy food, sufficient sleep, drastically lowering stress and …
AS MUCH LAUGHTER AS POSSIBLE!