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Humor Therapy is a Joke

(Part 1 of: 1 l 2 )

by Michael Braunstein

 
 

Loma Linda University studies indicate significant rises in immune system function when humor therapy is applied.

Duke University studies in 1997 proved heart arteries are more efficient with positive emotions.

Humor therapy is a reality.

 
  
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It's been over 30 years since Norman Cousins lay dying in his hospital room at UCLA Medical Center. Doctors told him his disease was terminal and there was nothing they could do and nothing he could do. They were half right.

Cousins was the editor of The Saturday Review and a remarkable man besides. He decided to fight for his life and found that he could look death in the face and laugh about it. In fact, when he laughed about it, he felt better. Psychoanalyst Fritz Perls, of the famous Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif. once advised "Examine the obvious." That's what Cousins did. He felt better after a couple of hours of belly laughs. He found that he could doze off for a few hours, relieved of the excruciating pain of his "terminal" connective tissue disease, ankylosing spondylitis. So what did he do? Obviously, he ordered in comedy film after comedy film and watched "Candid Camera" and the Marx Brothers. That, along with megadoses of Vitamin C, became his steady diet. Blood tests confirmed his healing. Immediately after movies and laughter, Cousins' inflammation was down. He became well.

Cousins' road to recovery is documented in his 1969 book, Anatomy of an Illness. Since that time, enough research has been done to document the kinds of changes that take place in the body when we think and feel with positive emotions and mirth rather than those of fear. Those changes are all healthy ones. Loma Linda University studies indicate significant rises in immune system function when humor therapy is applied. Duke University studies in 1997 proved heart arteries are more efficient with positive emotions. Humor therapy is a reality.

Now for the practical application. The following prescription was submitted by Bill "I'm not a Humor Therapist, but I play one on TV" Frenzer. Keep a copy in your glove box for sudden panic attacks or "road rage." It can be used safely at all times and there are no dangerous side-effects. Research has proven it can lower blood pressure, improve digestion and Norman Cousins cured his ankylosing spondylitis with just such type of therapy.

Sing it loud and to the tune of There is No Place Like Nebraska.

I Have No Need for Viagra
I have no need for Viagra, I'm embarrassed admitting to you.
Continued erections but constant rejections leave me hard-up with no one to do.
I have no need for Viagra, cruelly ironic but true.
I can rise to the occasion without chemical persuasion but the occasions that arise to rise are few.
No, I have no need for Viagra, that power-packed pole-propping pill.
I can still share my essence -- but what good's tumescence
When my love life is totally -- nil.

In all seriousness, humor therapy has been found to be a valid and enjoyable adjunct to a healthy therapeutic regimen. And as the song says, "Don't worry, be happy."

Be well.


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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.

Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.


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