Laughter Therapy: Laughing Cures
Your troubles go away when you sing, dance, or laugh. Laughter therapy is a strategy that is used more and more. It helps patients with health or emotional struggles.
This method we’re explaining today is rather modern. However, the reality is that laughing has helped cure or solve all kinds of difficult problems since the beginning of mankind.
Learn more in this article.
Laughter Therapy Throughout History
Human beings have laughed since the time we’ve lived in caves and learned how to make fire. However, the idea that laughing helps to cure and influence your body started a while after that.
For instance, in China, those that followed Tao philosophies taught about smiles. They said that smiling assured happiness, health, and longevity. As a result, they recommended smiling several times per day.
In the Middle Ages, court jesters weren’t only used to entertain the king. The courts also thought that it was necessary for helping their digestion.
From the 16th century, several philosophers, doctors, and psychologists, including Immanuel Kant, said that laughing was a psychosomatic phenomenon. They said that it freed negative energy from your body. As a result, it helps you live healthier.
The Physiology of Laughter
When you burst out laughing, you use between 100 and 400 muscles.
Thus, laughing is good for your emotional and physical health. It’s also one of the main ways that people use to diffuse an uncomfortable situation.
Did you know that you laughed up to 300 times per day when you were a kid? As time goes on, this diminishes. This happens until many hardly even laugh.
However, having a good sense of humor increases your defenses. This allows you to face your problems. Laughing is one of the main barrier for stress, nerves, and diseases.
If we laugh, we feel happiness and we see things in a different way.
Laughter Therapy and its Benefits
This is a therapeutic process that uses laughter (among other things). These help you to feel full, happy, and satisfied. Plus, with only 20 seconds of laughing, your body does the same work as if it did three minutes of aerobic exercise.
Laughter therapy frees both physical and emotional tension.
Laughter therapy sessions are practiced in groups. They follow the suggestions from specialized monitors.
They use games, dances, bodily expression, and even massages. The idea is that all of the participants let go of their inhibitions and laugh until they can’t anymore.
This also works for relaxing your muscles, getting rid of tension, and encouraging natural, spontaneous laughter.
Inoffensive jokes or “antics” done in these sessions help adults. They encourage them to adopt laughing as a lifestyle and especially as a form of expression.
Some exercises in laugh therapy done in a group include:
- Inflating a ball. With every breath, you get rid of something negative.
- Dancing with a balloon tied to your shoes.
- Practicing different levels of laughing (from light to very strong).
- Tickling a partner.
- Listen to a child’s laugh (one that’s highly contagious).
The Benefits of Laughing
You still don’t want to do a laugh therapy session? If you need more encouragement to make the decision, pay attention to the following benefits of laughing:
1. It strengthens you
We aren’t talking about having more muscles. Instead, we’re talking about facing diseases.
If you suffer from cold hands or feet, laughing is even better than gloves or socks! This habit increases your internal heat, oxygenates your tissues, and accelerates the healing of wounds or diseases.
It also strengthens your immune system, protects you from heart diseases, and stabilizes your metabolic functions.
If that wasn’t enough, laughing helps clean your arteries of fat (if you suffer from cholesterol). It even stimulates endorphin production in your brain, and balances your hormonal system.
2. It clears your mind
When you laugh, you leave your worries behind. Plus, you make it easier to find a solution to your problems. This includes realizing that a situation that won’t let you sleep really isn’t as complicated or serious as it appears.
As a result, laughter reduce stress, anxiety, and nerves. This affects your quality of life, your relationships, and – of course – your health.
You might like: 5 Reasons You Should Laugh More
3. It rejuvenates you
The lines that appear at the sides of your mouth and eyes aren’t that important. This is because they’re a sign that you’ve had good things happen to you in the past.
Believe it or not, laughing actually relaxes your skin. In doing so, it helps reduce acne and signs of premature aging.
You just need to enjoy a good amount of laughing each day!
4. It helps you move forward
Many times, we create trivial problems. We fall in the street, your internet doesn’t work on your phone, you over sleep, you burn your finger while cooking…these little annoyances all add up.
Instead of cursing the four winds, why not laugh about the situation?
You’ll see things differently. Plus, you’ll realize that everything has a solution.
Above all, thanks to laughing, you’ll realize that a bad mood is only one of the paths you can take when something happens… but not the only one.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
The Guardian. (2008). Laughter therapy. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/06/healthandwellbeing4
Skills You Need. (2011). Laughter Therapy as Stress Relief. Retrieved from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/therapeutic-laughter.html