Laughter, the forgotten child of medicine (518 words)
Laughter is an untapped science that, used well, can have far-reaching positive implications for the body, mind and spirit. It cannot heal nor solve anything, but it can help to heal and dissolve everything. We now have more than enough scientific evidence to suggest what is experientially evident: laughter is a valid and most valuable therapeutic ally in healing.
Why isn’t this common knowledge? Besides the fact that lots more research is warranted, a possible reason is that, until recently, we didn’t really know how to use it as a reliable therapeutic tool. The spontaneous laughter of everyday life is beneficial, but hard to work with day after day and not enough if you want to use it for true healing purposes. Briefly tasting a candy once in a while does not have the same impact as eating a whole meal.
We also live in a world where very few things can make people laugh, while hundreds can make them frown, howl and cry. Many people lose track of the therapeutic values of laughter when stress and adversity knock at their door. “Why should we laugh?” they say. “It doesn’t pay the bills.” Society teaches that problems are serious and need to be addressed seriously. Laughter, on the other hand, is often perceived as frivolous and only relevant in its proper time and place.
Fortunately for us all, times have changed. There now exists a new laughter technology that offers a universally well-tolerated, sustainable, wellbeing solution throughout people’s lifespans. It is low-cost, easy to learn and implement, and requires no particular space, equipment or form of clothing. You don’t have to be happy. It uses no jokes or comedy. This new technology is based on the use of intentional laughter, which means that you already have all that’s required to make it work. In a sedentary age of sharply rising healthcare costs and mental health challenges, this ought to gain more public attention.
I was once an adamant critic of laughter therapy, claiming that faking laughter – ha ha ha – was the most idiotic thing on the planet and certainly not worthy of my attention. That’s until I realized two things. First I was the one who hardly ever laughed and was getting sicker year after year, while the laughing people I belittled claimed major health benefits. Second and most importantly: It’s not about faking anything, but choosing to engage in positive behaviors in an attempt to create the healing chemistry that invariably come with them. Choosing to remain positive and be comfortable with your imperfections and the challenges in your life does not mean you have to be complacent about them. You should not. Laughing about them is a sign of maturity. It’s a political act, a declaration of freedom, a demonstration that we are not afraid, that we refuse to let fear, anger, guilt or resentment win and rule our lives.
Laughing and understanding what it stands for saved my life and taught me how to live at peace, not in pieces. I invite you to learn more on this topic. There is depth.
Creator of the Laughter Wellness method