Did you know that humor was a form of medical therapy in the 1960's? Well, a doctor with humor has a better bedside manner, but has to be careful how he/she uses this gift or they might not be taken seriously. No, humor as medicine isn't necessarily from a doctor, a nurse, or a medical establishment.
However, once a medical practitioner knows the patient, humor can break down barriers in conversation, where the patient will not hesitate to give more information so that the doctor can treat them more efficiently.
You may not know this, but I have been through (and will feel the effects for the rest of my life from) late-stage Lyme disease. They thought I had Parkinson's. They thought I had early Alzheimer's. They thought I had M.S. So, I know of what I speak when it comes to humor.
Humor has helped my husband and I deal with stressful times that are not just health related. Humor has helped my son's deal with anxiety and Asperger's. Humor has bound our family like nothing else, at times.
Laughter is good for your healthLaughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
So find something to laugh about today. When you have a down day, find a funny video, or something that will make you laugh. Laugh with your spouse or significant other. Laugh with your children. It's so healthy and if more people were enjoying good humor, this planet would be so much happier and peaceful.