“Laughter is part of the human survival kit,” says Comedian David Nathan, and he’s not far off. Dr. Hunter Campbell, who inspired the movie Patch Adams, opened a humor-infused care hospital in a six-bedroom home. It’s called the Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit healthcare organization offering humanitarian clowning trips and educational programs.
He plans to incorporate performance art, crafting, nature, agriculture, and other recreational and social service activities. You can see more about the program here.
“Humor is a great communication tool to relieve tension between people and facilitate relationship-building,” says the Heart MD Institute, “As a coping mechanism, humor helps people diffuse difficult emotions such as anger, fear, grief, and sadness.”
Humor also plays a significant role in helping emotional stress and other stress-related illnesses like hypertension and even some nervous system disorders.
Normal Cousins has actually used laughter to fight his heart disease and arthritis and his methods have gotten him discharged from the hospital many times.
The psychology of how the curative powers work is still unknown, but the effects are undeniable. Still, there is a difference between humor and laughter. Simply being amused doesn’t have nearly the same effects have having a full-on giggle-fest.
You can read the full article here.