Most people have heard others say, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but is there any truth behind this? As a matter of fact, there is. According to Psychology Today, the act of laughing decreases stress, improves coping skills, helps to regulate blood pressure, energizes organs, and establishes or restores positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people. Actually, some psychologists and anthropologists believe that the function of laughter is to bring people together.
Patch Adams, also known as Hunter Adams, a physician, social activist, author and clown, founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971. The mission of the Institute is to provide holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the world, and the health care system itself. One of their strongest and most effective forms of treatment being laughter.
How is their treatment so effective? Only 30 seconds of laughter can reduce pain and allows people to tolerate discomfort. Many cancer survivors report that it was the easiest and most effective treatment they received. Most major hospitals have programs in place that provide entertainment and activities that promote laughter for their patients.
The sound of a laugh is more contagious than any cold, cough, or sneeze. By sharing chuckles with others, we are providing them with more health benefits than any diet plan or medication. Humor, stronger than any hero and more contagious than a plague, is something in which we all could use more. A chuckle made is a chuckle earned. So ask yourself the question, have you laughed today?