The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Best of Groucho: Prescription -- Laughter

Author and former oncology nurse Diane Byrnes, in her article "RX: Laughter," states unequivocally that laughter indeed helps the healing process. She recounts the experience of Norman Cousins, from his book Anatomy of an Illness, who was gravely ill with ankylosing spondylitis (it even sounds grave) and decided that humor would help with healing. He watched old Marx Brothers movies (hence the clips above) and Candid Camera films. He was delighted to discover that his laughter actually helped alleviate pain. He tested his blood just before and several hours after his "humor therapy" and discovered the elements in his blood that indicated inflammation slowly dropped to normal after each session.

I leave you with this quote from the article, "A sense of humor is more a sense of joy in being alive. Humor, like poetry, has the ability to reach into the deepest level of the psyche in a comparatively painless and yet profound manner."

So, if you are in pain today, under stress, angry, hate filled, fearful, remorseful, etc., go grab a few DVDs of comedies, search the Internet for happy little clips like this one, or start swapping jokes with family and friends with abandon. With luck, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss your pain goodbye. It couldn't hoit!

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