The Life Benefits of Laughter and Humor
When thinking of healing and therapy in society today, we commonly relate these terms to modern medicine. We think of "western" medicine in terms of chemicals and physical treatments such as chiropractics or physical therapy. Holistic healing is a less widely used form of increasing and maintaining our health. The objective of this project is to introduce the healing powers of laughter. Laughter is, for many of us, a regular part of our lives that is not credited with providing well-being. This paper begins with a simple introduction to the many researched healing powers of laughter. There are several physical improvements attributed to laughter. It can improve one's immune system and reduce stress, just to name a few. "Treating the Man, Not the Illness" moves a few steps further and discusses the idea of treating the person, not the illness. This section discusses the holistic aspect of healing attributed to laughter and humor therapy. Norman Cousins is probably given more credit than anyone else for introducing humor as therapy. His ideas and studies catalyzed a revolution that continues to grow. Following, this paper will briefly state how profitable laughter can be. It is so prevalent in our lives that its value, as a resource, is priceless. Humor therapy can be studied from a sociological standpoint. The fact that laughter has penetrated society as deeply as it has further lends to its promising qualities. Next, the paper speaks of the everyday need for humor. Its talks about the power, balance and coping components found in humor. It discusses the perspective humor can lend to our lives. This paper then briefly introduces a scientific study that was conducted. This study helps to lend more concrete evidence to the healing powers of laughter or, in this case, to desensitizing fear.