Humor and laughter in health care? Well some would say that our current health care system is a joke! Har, har!
But seriously, we all need to laugh more. It’s a vital component of optimum wellness, and it’s been lacking. No wonder so many people are ill.
Humor and Laughter Therapy are not new. Way back in the 1300s Henri de Mondeville, Professor of surgery advised. “Let the surgeon take care to regulate the whole regimen of the patient’s life for joy and happiness, allowing his relatives and special friends to cheer him, and by having someone tell him jokes”.
I learned a lot about humor from my patients during my 25 years as a holistic family doctor. I included several funny stories in my book Whole Health Healing: The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. Thanks to those of you who made me laugh all those years. I needed you! For example, one day a patient told me she had just gotten cataract surgery. “Can you see better now?” I enquired. She looked up at me, squinted her eyes and said sheepishly “Well, I can see your grey hair now.” Yeah, thanks for your humor gang!
Even the Bible says that “ a merry heart doeth good…” and “ ….a cheerful look brings joy to the heart and good news gives health to the bones”. I suspect God has a sense of humor; I get that feeling every time I get out of the shower and see myself in a full length mirror. LOL!
And let’s not forget the most powerful figure in the land, the king. He could choose who he had around him. He could choose his soldiers, his court, his family, but who did he choose to have closest to him? The jester. The person who made him chuckle.
It’s not too late to rediscover some humor.
Here is a good one: A husband was reclining and drinking beer while watching television. Suddenly, after watching something about Living Wills he hollered out to his wife “Hey honey, I want you to know that I don’t want to end up like a vegetable, given fluids and reliant on some kind of machine!” So his wife pulled the plug on his TV, threw away all of his beer and showed him the website http://www.thedowntoearthdoctor.com/!
“Laughter is the most inexpensive and the most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine”. -Bertrand Russell.
Laughter is good medicine:
- Five minutes of good belly laughing is equal to twenty minutes of jogging
- Humor is a great diffuser of stressful moments
- It is a cardiac and respiratory exercise, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, short term, and then lowering them dramatically.
- Raises metabolic rate
- Increases oxygen consumption by lowering amount of residual air in lungs
- reduces level of water vapour and carbon dioxide in lungs, thereby reducing risk of pulmonary infection
- Relaxes muscles (even those not involved in laughing)
- excellent exercise for facial, thoracic, abdominal and other muscles
- twenty seconds of laughter can double the heart rate for three to five minutes, which is equivalent to three minutes of strenuous rowing.
Here is another of my favorites: An elderly man and wife go to see a doctor. She is accompanying him because of his difficulty hearing. The doctor completes his interview of the gentleman and states “I want to order some tests. I need a urine sample, a stool sample, and a semen sample.” The man looks at his wife and asks “What did he say honey?” She frowns, leans over to him and shouts “Just give him your underwear!”
So, let’s look for the humorous side in everything whenever possible, including health. Start every morning by reading the comics in your local paper.
What funny stuff can you come up with today?
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