Humor Therapy Everyone likes a good laugh. Humor Therapy: What is it? Humor therapy is the use of humor for the relief of physical or emotional pain and.

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Humor Therapy

Humor TherapyEveryone likes a good laugh

Humor Therapy: What is it?Humor therapy is the use of humor for the relief of physical or emotional pain and stress. It is used as a complementary method to promote health and cope with illness. Humor therapy is often used in cancer patients to promote well being.

What does it involve?The physical effects of laughter on the body include:Increased breathing Increased oxygen use Short-term changes in hormones and certain neurotransmittersIncreased heart rate. Many hospitals and treatment centers have set up special rooms with humorous materials for the purpose of making people laugh, such as:Movies Audio recordingsBooksGamesPuzzles. Many hospitals use volunteers who visit patients for the purpose of making them laugh. Some cancer treatment centers offer humor therapy in addition to standard treatments.

What is Humor Therapy used for?Anyone can use humor therapy. People commonly use it to help in the treatment of chronic diseases, especially those that are made worse by stress (such as heart disease and Asthma). Chronic diseases have a negative effect on mood and attitude, which can make the disease worse. Humor therapy helps reduce the negative effects of feeling unhealthy, afraid, or helpless. These problems are often seen in those with cancer or other chronic diseases.

5How was it formed?The History of Humor Therapy

For years, the use of humor has been used in medicine. Surgeons used humor to distract patients from pain as early as the 13th century. Later, in the 20th century, came the scientific study of the effect of humor on physical wellness. Many credit this to Norman Cousins. After years of prolonged pain from a serious illness, Cousins claims to have cured himself with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins. In his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins describes how watching comedic movies helped him recover.Norman CousinsDiagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a collagen illness that attacks the connective tissues of the bodyRead of the theory that negative emotions be harmful to the bodyHired a nurse who would read him humorous stories, and play for him Marx Brothers movies. Received with much criticismacknowledged in the Journal of the American Medical Association

How is it promoted for use?

Humor therapy is generally used to:Improve quality of life Provide pain reliefEncourage relaxationReduce stress. Researchers have described different types of humor.

8Types of Humor TherapyPassive Humor:Results from seeing prepared material, such as watching a funny movie or stand-up comedy or reading an amusing book. Spontaneous Humor: Also known as unplanned humor, involves finding humor in everyday situations.

Laughter TherapyLaughter Therapy is a form of Humor Therapy. It is the idea of constant laughter. This can take place in:Laughter Yoga, Laughter Therapy sessions, or Laughter Clubs.

According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to:Boost the immune system and circulatory systemEnhance oxygen intakeStimulate the heart and lungsRelax muscles throughout the bodyTrigger the release of endorphins (the bodys natural painkillers)Ease digestion/soothes stomach achesRelieve painBalance blood pressureImprove mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)Laughter therapy may also help to:Improve overall attitudeReduce stress/tensionPromote relaxationImprove sleepEnhance quality of lifeStrengthen social bonds and relationshipsProduce a general sense of well-being

What is the evidence?Available scientific evidence does not support humor as an effective treatment for cancer or any other disease; However, laughter has many benefits:Positive physical changesOverall sense of well-being One study found the use of humor led to an increase in pain tolerance Laughter can release neurotransmitters called endorphins that can help regulate pain. Another study found that neuroendocrine and stress-related hormones decreased during episodes of laughter. These findings provide support for the claim that humor can relieve stress.

Problems or complications Humor therapy is considered safe when used with conventional medical therapy. It can be harmful if used to avoid difficult or delicate issues that are important to you or your family. Laughter can also cause temporary pain after some types of surgery. This improves as the body heals and causes no lasting harm.Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

Is Humor Therapy Safe? Humor therapy is completely safe. Your doctor is likely to approve of any efforts you make to use humor therapy.It is inexpensive, risk-free, and readily available.It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

Physiological effect of LaughterLaughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. (Health Guide)And RememberA good laugh a day keeps the doctor away!

Works Cited"Humor Therapy." WebMD. N.p., 30-06-2009. Web. 6 Mar 2011. ."Humor Therapy." American Cancer Society. N.p., 01-11-2008. Web. 4 Mar 2011. ."Humor Therapy, Laughter Therapy." Holistic Online. N.p., 01 Jan 2004. Web. 20 Feb 2011.

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