Although available scientific evidence does not support claims that humor therapy, or laugh therapy, can cure cancer or any other disease, it can reduce stress and enhance a person’s quality of life.
Cancer is not a laughing matter. After the diagnosis and during the treatment patients may not feel like laughing. Their minds are likely to be concerned with details about insurance and chemotherapy. How then do we convince you that laughter is good for cancer?
Most people would consider it insensitive to crack a joke or laugh when with a terminally ill patient. But have you thought that perhaps they need to be diverted from their condition? If you can do that for them you are helping them to put their disease on the backburner and live a fuller life.
Humor is an infectious and natural diversion when one is feeling low. And laughter reduces blood pressure and anxiety, while triggering endorphins—the feel good hormones. It has been well-established that laughter increases the sense of well-being, relieves stress, and generally contributes to better health. So why shouldn’t cancer patients take advantage of it, too? The what various specialist, in particular Mexico cancer clinics, have been exploring.
They do say that those who can see the humor in all things and laugh a lot don’t fall ill so easily. If you know someone with cancer, take the trouble to visit him or her and induce a light-hearted mood in the atmosphere, boost their sense of humor. They know they have cancer—encourage them to look at the funny side of things. Perhaps a few anecdotes about their visits to the doctor or people they may have met who are real characters. Tell your own funny little stories. And then laugh—this will change their emotional reaction to the stress they are under about their condition and will affect their immune system positively.
There are laughter clubs nowadays where people get together and induce laughing. It might seem odd at first but gradually you will notice that laughing becomes easier and more natural. Even some doctors who deal with high-tech medicine are making room for this low-tech treatment. At Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago they call it laughter yoga. Patients are literally forcing themselves to laugh. The theory is laughter, even if forced, enhances overall well-being and aids in the healing process, using it as a therapeutic tool and not just an emotion. Along with traditional therapies, this is offered as part of their treatment.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of laughter is that it is free and has no known negative side effects.