“Laughter is the best medicine” — who doesn’t know this popular adage? Laughter is not a cure for cancer or other degenerative diseases, but doctors and the medical professionals found that it increases treatment receptiveness in patients. Scientists researching about psychoneuroimmunology are discovering that there is a crucial connection between a person’s mind and body. This is particularly manifested by the body’s ability to heal through mental stimulation. Laughter appears to change brain chemistry and boosts the body’s immune system. Through the recent development in medicine, this popular saying becomes a fact. Humour therapy aids in healing by promoting good feeling, laughter, and smiles. Sometimes called therapeutic humour, this type of therapy is fast gaining popularity among medical institutions worldwide.
Now, medical institutions are using humorous and fun activities to excite and give their patients excitement. Clowns, story-telling, puppet shows, and other fun activities are regularly presented in hospitals’ kiddie wards. These activities cheer up the sick children and — since they usually contain subliminal messages — encourage them to take medications. Humour carts also circulate in some hospitals. These carts have supplies of joke books, humorous stories, and other funny materials for the adult patients. Nurse training also includes lessons on cheering patients up.
Humour therapy provides other benefits aside from increasing treatment receptiveness and making patients happy. The therapy allows patients to see situations in a lighter perspective. The frustration of being confined in a hospital is decreased and the patients feel more in control. Other than this, the therapy enables patients to release negative emotions like fear, anger, and stress in a positive way. Although these benefits don’t cure the diseases, they make the effects bearable for those who are sick. There are also studies that prove laughter to be a preventive measure against diseases. Stress and other negative emotions are known to have debilitating effects on a person’s health. By releasing these emotions through laughter, the risks of being stressed and burned-out are minimized.
Aside from these benefits, therapeutic humour is also easy to practice. A comic book, a puzzle, or watching a funny show is enough to give patients a good time. Simply having a good laugh over nonsense qualifies a humour therapy. If these are not enough, there are joke sites in the internet that offer funny stuff. But remember that laughter cannot cure diseases by itself. It is just a complement to a traditional medical treatment.