The Healing Powers of Humor [Infographic]

The Healing Powers of HumorAmerican poet E.E. Cummings once wrote, “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” If you agree, then you have some good health benefits coming your way! According to statistics from’s latest infographic, research shows that the involuntary reaction known as “laughter” is good for both the body and soul! The study of laughter and its effects on the body is known as Gelotology, and observes the different elements that contribute to laughter from both a psychological and physiological perspective. This discipline advocates laughter for therapeutic use in integrative medicine. There have been several types of therapy that have emerged in recent years, for which laughter is employed to assist patients. Let’s take a look at a few of them! Humor and Laughter Therapy Laughter therapy encourages spontaneous discussion of the patients’ own humorous experiences, and relies on humorous materials such as books, shows, movies and stories. Humor/laughter therapy can be provided individually or in a group setting, and is always facilitated by a clinician. Laughter Meditation This branch of therapy possesses similar traits to traditional meditation, but in this case it’s the laughter that trains the individual to concentrate on the moment. Laughter meditation can be conducted in both individual and group settings, and work in a three-stage process of stretching, intentional laughing, and a period of meditative silence. Laughter Yoga Laughter yoga is somewhat similar exercise to traditional yoga, but also incorporates laughter with breathing, stretching and yoga techniques. The structured discipline also includes several laughter exercises for a period of 30 to 45 minutes that are facilitated by a trained professional. Laughter yoga exercises can also be used for supplemental and/or preventive therapy. Laughter’s Effects on the Body Over the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the human body. Laughter is considered to have the following therapeutic benefits: boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones, and increases immune cells and antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins generate a positive outlook, temporary relieve pain,, and also increase energy. Laughter is also heart-healthy! Laughing has been known to improve the function of blood vessels, increase blood flow (which can help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems), and also relaxes the whole body. In addition, laughing also relieves physical tension and stress, provides 45-minutes of muscle relaxation and tranquility, and even diminishes pain! Social Benefits In social settings, shared laughter binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter is thought to help forge relationships, enhances our appeal to others, builds teamwork, helps defuse conflict and promotes group bonding. In certain situations, “laughter” is also considered an aphrodisiac! 87 percent of men and 74 percent of women say that humorous flirtation can get them in the mood for sex! **Laughter is truly the only (free!) medicine that comes from within. Harness your chuckle at!** Sources:


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