Laughter therapy, also called humor therapy, is the use of the natural psycho-physiological laughter process to enhance health and wellness. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, or CTCA, humor therapy has been in use for centuries. It is used to make an individual feel lively and relieves physical, social and emotional distress and pain. Laughter boosts mental functions such as memory and creativity and improves oxygen intake.
Laughter therapy entails the use of fake laughter, laughter greetings, appropriate jokes, funny props and videos that induce patients to laugh. Other types of humor therapy include clown doctors visiting children in their wards and laughter yoga, which is making the sound of laughter until it eventually becomes funny and causes the patient to laugh, according to Sue Waterworth of Natural Therapy Pages.
Laughter is a natural diversion that helps an individual feel better about himself and the surrounding world. Multiple studies have shown that humor therapy can offer physical benefits including stimulating the lungs and heart; relaxing muscles; easing digestion; balancing blood pressure; stimulating the secretion of endorphins, which are natural painkillers; enhancing immune response and circulatory systems; boosting oxygen intake; reducing tension; and enhancing sleep, relaxation, overall attitude and a sense of well-being, according to CTCA.