Laughter may not be the best medicine, especially if you have appendicitis, but medicine it certainly is. Hundreds of scientific studies have proved the therapeutic benefits of laughter. Here are some of the ways laughter is good for you. I have used the mnemonic SMILE to remember them all.
||STRESS hormones reduced (adrenalin and noradrenalin, cortisol)
||MUSCULAR relaxation (muscles take 2 hours to return to previous state of tension after belly laugh)
||IMMUNITY increased, IgA and IgM and IgG increased in blood after laughter, improved resistance to colds and infections
||LUNGS are helped by laughter expelling residual volume of air, allowing more fresh air to enter lungs
||EXERCISE Dr. William Fry of Stanford Medical School has established that 100 laughs a day give you as much beneficial exercise as 10 minutes of rowing - and without the agonised expression that rowers, stationery cyclists and joggers customarily have on their faces.
||ENDORPHINS & ENCEPHALONs, natural high making chemicals of the body are increased by laughter
Recent research at the
University of Maryland
has shown that laughing regularly offers
against heart attacks.
Credit for drawing attention to
these important facts must go to Dr. Fry of Stanford
University who has spent many years proving how good
laughter is for you and of course to the famous physician/clown,
Patch Adams, who has dedicated his life to healing
with fun and love. I corresponded with Patch for
many years before the highly successful movie Patch
Adams (in which he was played by Robin Williams)
made him very famous indeed.
involved with comedy, especially stand
many years. In 1996 I co-founded the ACADEMY
OF LAUGHTER & HEALTH with
comedians Arnold Brown and Neil Mullarkey
to publicise the therapeutic benefits of
laughter. 1997 The Academy put on a stage
show called "Are you Feeling Funny?"
which I appeared with Arnold and Neil as
Dr Samuel FishHead at the New End Theatre
in London which sold out at the time. Since
then I've explored Frank Farrelly's
Therapy which I now consider to be
the cutting edge of humour as a therapeutic
tool in medicine.
In addition to these physiological benifits,
most people know that laughter is good for
body, mind and spirit. It is an excellent
ice-breaker in the consulting room and this
is so important in all medical consultations
but especially homeopathic conversations.
When homeopath and patient laugh together
you can be pretty sure that rapport has
right joke at the right time can do this....