Laughter is the Best Medicine

 

      Laughter therapy 

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Laugh Hard! Laugh Loud!
Laugh until you Cry!


Laughter in and of itself cannot cure cancer nor prevent cancer, but laughter as part of the full range of positive emotions including hope, love, faith, strong will to live, determination and purpose, can be a significant and indispensable aspect of the total fight for recovery."
-Harold H. Benjamin, PhD

From Humor Your Tumor (April, 1999)
By Paul McGhee, PhD

"The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease."
-Voltaire

There are few sources of stress in life greater than the words, "You have cancer." And we have known for decades that any kind of stress - especially chronic stress that's there day after day - has a suppressive effect on the immune system. You are more vulnerable to becoming ill when constantly stressed precisely because your immune system is not operating as well is it normally would - if you were under less stress or were coping with it more effectively.

Your sense of humor provides a powerful antidote to immunosuppressive effects of stress in two ways through:

1) direct effects of humor and laughter upon the immune system, and


2) indirect effects resulting from humor's ability to help you cope on the tough days. In this column, we'll focus only on the direct immuno - enhancement effects of humor.

Research has looked at both humoral (immunoglobulins) and cellular immunity. In the case of the former, most of the studies have focused on immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA resides in the mucosal areas and helps protect you against upper respiratory infections. Seven studies have shown significant increases in concentrations of IgA in response to comedy programs designed to produce a lot of laughter.

While many different investigators have completed the IgA research, Lee Berk and his associates at the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University has obtained similar findings for many additional components of the immune system. The rest of this column is based on findings from his research.

Mirthful laughter also increases levels of IgM and IgG. IgM antibodies are the first to arrive at a location within the body as a part of the humoral immune response. After IgM does its initial work, IgG takes over. It is IgG antibodies that are produced in the greatest amount in the body, and that are responsible for long-term immunity. When you are immunized, for example, it is the IgG antibodies that are tested to see if the procedure was successful.

Laughter also increases levels of Complement 3, a part of your immune system that helps antibodies pierce through defective or infected cells in order to destroy them.

With respect to cellular immunity, watching a one-hour comedy video has been found to produce

1) increased number of B cells,


2) increased number of, and activation of, T cells,


3) increased number of Helper T cells (the cells attacked by the AIDS virus),


4) increased ratio of Helper/Suppressor T cells,


5) increased number of, and activity of, Natural Killer (NK) cells, and


6) increased levels of Gamma Interferon.


The increased number of B cells is not surprising, given the increased levels of IgA, IgG, and IgM, since B cells are responsible for making all the immunoglobulins.

The findings for NK cells and Gamma Interferon are especially important for cancer patients. NK cells are designed to seek out and destroy tumor (cancer) cells (they also destroy virally infected cells, even with no prior exposure). Gamma Interferon plays an important role in the activation of NK cells. It also contributes to the growth of cytotoxic T cells and the maturation of B cells. It is best thought of as a kind of orchestra leader that regulates the level of cooperation between cells in the immune system, and tells different components of the immune system when to turn on and off.

 

There is something about humor and laughter, then, that causes the immune system to "turn on" metabolically and do more effectively what it is designed to do. This is one reason there is no so much interest in the therapeutic benefits of humor in oncology centers across the country. It's also responsible for the increased interest in having speakers on the health and coping benefits of humor for National Cancer Survivors Day Celebrations for those who are living with cancer.

 

While these data are exciting, they do not mean that laughter will cure you from cancer, or any other disease. Humor and laughter are not a replacement for the treatment you or your loved one are undergoing. But there's now every reason to believe that the patient makes an important contribution to his/her own treatment by managing their frame of mind or emotional state. Building more laughter into your life helps assure that you'll have all your body's own natural healing resources fully available to you.

Remember to take you illness seriously, but take yourself lightly in dealing with it on a day-to-day basis. So lighten up! Jest for the health of it.


     


From Humor Your Tumor (February, 1999)
By Paul McGhee, PhD.


A nurse recently told me of a Methodist minister who had been in a serious accident and had to spend several weeks in the hospital. He had a lot of pain, and was given shots to reduce it. The procedure was always the same. When the pain got bad enough, he would ring a buzzer near his bed, and a nurse would soon come to give him the shot. One day, he rang for the nurse and then rolled over on his side (with his back to the door), pulled his hospital gown up over his exposed backside, and waited for the nurse to come in. When he heard the door open, he pointed to his right bare buttock and said, "Why don't you give me the shot right here this time?"

After a few moments of silence, he looked up. It was a woman from his church! Following a brief embarrassing conversation, the woman left, and the minister--realizing what he had done - started laughing. He laughed so hard that tears were coming out of his eyes when the nurse arrived. When he tried to explain what had happened, he began laughing even harder.

When he was finally able to tell the nurse the whole story, what do you think he noticed? His pain was gone! He didn't need the shot, and didn't ask for one for another 90 minutes.


        


At some point following their diagnosis of cancer, many cancer patients find themselves thinking, "How will I deal with the pain?" The last coping resource they consider is their sense of humor. And yet there are many stories like the one above, along with a growing body of scientific research, showing that humor and laughter can play a significant role in reducing pain.

The idea that laughter has analgesic properties is not new. Dr. James Walsh, an American physician, noted in his 1928 book, Laughter and Health, that laughter appeared to reduce the level of pain experienced following surgery. This observation then disappeared from the medical literature until the publication of Norman Cousins' 1979 book, Anatomy of an Illness.

Cousins was suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a degenerative spinal disease which left him in almost constant pain. With the consent of his doctors, he checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel across the street. He invited friends over and watched a lot of comedy films--and laughed a lot! He discovered that as little as 10 minutes of laughter would give him 2 hours of pain-free sleep.

Several studies have now documented the pain-reducing power of humor and laughter. In one study, watching or listening to humorous tapes increased the length of time participants were able to keep their hand in ice water before it became painful. Another study showed that those who found the comedy material funnier were able to endure the ice water longer than those who found it less funny.


         


In a study of 35 patients in a rehabilitation hospital, 74% agreed with the statement, "Sometimes laughing works as well as a pain pill." These patients had a broad range of conditions, such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, limb amputations, and other neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.

The explanation for why laughter reduces pain is not yet clear. While most people assume that it's because of the production of endorphins (one of the body's natural pain killers), there is still no scientific evidence to support this view. The reduced pain may also be because of the muscle relaxation that occurs from laughter, or because humor and laughter distract us from the source of pain.

If you're a chronic pain suffer, it doesn't really matter why humor and laughter ease your pain. The important thing is that it does. So you can just accept it as a gift on the days when you manage to find something to laugh at.

While laughter clearly helps ease pain for many individuals, it doesn't do so for everyone. It is not clear at this point just what kinds of pain a good laugh can and cannot soothe. The best advice at this point is to just build more laughter into your life and see whether it works for you. What do you have to lose? Even if it doesn't eliminate your pain, it will boost your spirits and bring more joy into your life on the difficult days.


        


Laughter increases the level of endorphins, which are natural pain killers found in your body.


Laughter brings about well-being by combating destructive stress, depression, rage, and insomnia. It provides an overall liberating effect. Distraction from oneself, from one's physical and other concerns, plays a beneficial role too.

Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.


Laughter is Strong Medicine for Mind and Body.


Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.


        


Laughter is Good for Your Health


  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

  • Laughter boosts the immune system. 
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins.

  • From a purely physiological standpoint laughter creates increased relaxation and oxygenation. Endorphins, the body's homegrown "narcotics," go to work. The body's immune system is stimulated as well. New evidence suggests that you may want to consider laughter as part of your comprehensive wellness programme. It not only boosts your mood, but it also revs up your immune system, protects your heart, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, improves lung capacity and provides a general sense of well-being. A good belly laugh also reduces stress hormones in your body.


  • Laughter protects the heart. 
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

The Benefits of Laughter

Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

Social Benefits:


  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

A good giggle makes patients feel better, not only emotionally but also physically. It temporarily makes their pains, even severe cancer pains, disappear.

Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.


         


The Link Between Laughter and Mental Health


  • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t           feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.

  • Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces            stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused        and accomplish more.

  • Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations      in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help       you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

The Social Benefits of Humor and Laughter

Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.

 

Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone

Creating opportunities to laugh

  • Watch a funny movie or TV show.
  • Go to a comedy club.
  • Read the funny pages.
  • Seek out funny people.
  • Share a good joke or a funny story.
  • Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
  • Host game night with friends.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Go to a “laughter yoga” class. (See Below)
  • Goof around with children.
  • Do something silly.
  • Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
       

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.

Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships - as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

  • Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head      and away from your troubles.

  • Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.

  • Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding     on are set aside.

  • Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.

You have probably noticed that you feel a lot better after a good belly laugh. The problem is that your sense of humor generally abandons you just when you need it the most - when you get sick.


        

 Photo: 95 year old lady participating in a laughter yoga session 


LAUGHTER YOGA


"The old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine"

Can laughter heal? We know that it’s good for healing our spirits.

It’s time to get serious about laughter, especially when it comes to your health. A good belly laugh can help keep the doctor away. Laughter is a spontaneous way of releasing emotions. There’s an inner relief. When you laugh, you feel lighter and naturally relaxed. Here’s the problem. According to Discovery Health, when a child gets to nursery school, he or she laughs about 300 times a day. In contrast, adults laugh an average of 17 times a day. Adults need to kick up their laugh meter.

Laughter is now being prescribed as the best medicine for wellness. Countless studies have validated the efficacy of laughter and its therapeutic power in dealing with physical, mental and emotional health. With enormous physiological and psychological benefits, it is the most powerful remedial tool that has the ability to dramatically change the perspective of life by quickly relieving stress and depression and elevating mood states. It also helps to get in touch with reality and control emotions and feelings under adverse situations. Besides healing the mind and mitigating emotional pain, laughter even alleviates physical pain due to injury and disease and helps in speedy recovery.

Laughter is most effectively used in Laughter Yoga, which is the fastest growing health and fitness exercise routine. Thousands of practitioners around the world have reported remarkable improvement in health conditions. Based on unconditional laughter, it does not rely on humor or comedy, which makes it the easiest and the simplest exercise to rejuvenate the body mind system.


         


Physiological Healing Power of Laughter Yoga


Weak immune system:

The weakening of the immune system due to physical illness or mental stress and depression undermines health and leads to frequent infections and disease.

Regular practice of Laughter Yoga boosts the immune system. Laughter increases the natural killer cells that have the ability to destroy tumors and viruses. It increases disease-destroying antibodies and also increases the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A, which defends against the entry of infectious organisms through the respiratory tract. Laughter Yoga basically brings balance to all the components of the immune system and heals the pain.


Oxygen:

Oxygen is one of the primary catalysts for biological energy in the human body. Stress reduces breathing and starves the body of oxygen, promoting the spread of illness. Laughter Yoga flushes the lungs and fully oxygenates the blood and major organs leaving one bursting with energy and vitality and free from disease.

Research has also shown that cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen. In fact, many parasites and bacteria don't survive well in the presence of oxygen; therefore an increase in the oxygen levels with laughter exercises is a great way to combat certain killer diseases.


Pain:

Laughter triggers the release of a natural opiate called endorphin into the bloodstream. This provides immediate pain relief typically lasting for two hours. It can relieve headaches, muscular and joint pain and is powerful enough that a number of practitioners have undergone surgery using laughter instead of anesthetics!

Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart related problems, asthma and respiratory complications, arthritis, senile dementia and even cancer to some extent have also been largely affected by laughter.


Laughter chemistry:

The impact of laughter is based on a wealth of healing biochemicals. One minute of laughter produces body chemicals which are immune boosting and generate a healthy chemistry. Some of these are brain-altering chemicals created by engaging in healthy laughter would actually carry a hefty price tag if one went out to purchase them. But, once again, one can create these chemicals at no cost by simply laughing.


Lymphatic system:

Stress switches off the lymphatic system while laughter moves the lymph fluid around the body simply by the spasms during laughter. This helps clear out old, dead waste products from organs and tissues.


                   


According to some experts the reason for the rapid spread of Laughter Yoga is that it gives instant results and can be enjoyed right away. There is no special clothing; there are no difficult techniques or postures to learn. Anyone can join a laughter yoga session and experience the results within 30 minutes.

Stress messes with our mind, with side effects that include depression, feelings of intense fear, psychological distress, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain sweating, nausea, dizziness, hyperventilation and sensations of choking or smothering.

Laughter is nature’s counter to stress, and hearty laughter has surprising positive results the on the body. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate, laughter reduces both and dilates blood vessels for better circulation.

The feeling of health and energy from laughter yoga is often compared to the ‘runner’s high'. It keeps people coming back to laugh again and again. 


Emotional balance:

Laughter Yoga makes it easier to cope with life and its challenges. It puts us intensely in the moment.  The ability to fully live and experience the “now” is of utmost importance because it is the only moment where we can experience happiness.


Catharsis:

Laughter makes us feel good because it defuses the most painful emotions by releasing them through the painless mechanism of catharsis.  That release, in turn, prevents or stops conflicts, eases tension, and helps people to see one another's point of view better and heals all harbored hurt and resentment that can get detrimental to one’s emotional health. It invokes feelings of joyfulness and happiness. Laughter Yoga lifts the spirits and provides new insights.


Circulation and mobility:

Laughter Yoga boosts circulation and increases the net supply of oxygen to the body and the brain. The deep diaphragmatic breathing massages the mid body and provides a respite from the flexibility of various joints throughout your body. So it's a bit of physical exercise and healthful body movement as well.

Laughter Yoga is a good antidote to mental and physical illness. It has the ability to blow away pain and heal both the body and the mind.


        


How Laughter Yoga Reduces Mental Stress


Our Breathing is connected to the state of our Mind. It is apparent that the state of our Mind directly affects our Breathing. When in a Stressful, Emotional state or turmoil, the Breathing Pattern alters drastically. It becomes faster, shallow and irregular. Sometimes people even hold their breath under Stress, which leads to an accumulation of Carbon dioxide in the blood.

Mental Stress occurs due to the arousal of Sympathetic branch of our Autonomic Nervous System, which is very sensitive to Carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Laughter Yoga provides an excellent Cardiac workout, and triggers a Breathing Pattern that offers significant respiratory benefits. It lowers the amount of residual air in the lungs, replacing it with Oxygen-rich air. This reduces the level of Carbon dioxide in the lungs, and prevents the Stress Arousal System.


         


Diaphragmatic Breathing


The best way to reduce Mental Stress is to activate Parasympathetic System which is opposite of Sympathetic System. This can be done by changing the way we breathe. If we can learn to breathe from the Diaphragm, Mental Stress cannot occur, even if you have Stressful thoughts in your Mind. Your body simply will not react to Stressful thoughts.

The Diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscular partition between the Chest and the Abdomen. It plays an important role in the most vital function of Respiration.  During Inhalation, the Diaphragm contracts, and pulls down, to make space for the lungs to expand, and during Exhalation, it relaxes and pushes the lungs to facilitate Exhalation.

By shifting the Breathing Pattern from shallow to deep Diaphragmatic Breathing, it stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is the cooling branch of the Autonomic Nervous System, and is the opposite of the Sympathetic Stress Arousal System. This scientific phenomenon coupled with the ancient Yogic wisdom of Breathing, makes this concept a unique exercise regime to loosen Stress and relieve Anxiety.

One of the prime objectives of Laughter Yoga is to learn how to move the Diaphragm, and shift the awareness of Breathing from the chest to the Deep Abdominal Breathing.  With the movement of the Diaphragm, we can bring our emotions under conscious control.


          


It has been scientifically proven that laughter is both preventive and therapeutic. People practicing Laughter Yoga regularly report amazing improvement in their health as well as a more positive mental attitude and higher energy levels. The first thing participants say is that they don’t fall sick very often; the frequency of normal cold and flu reduces or even disappears. There are daily reports of partial or total cure of most stress-related illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, depression, asthma, arthritis, allergies, stiff muscles and more. While this sounds fantastic, it all makes perfect sense, as laughter is nature’s best cure for stress.

Most illnesses today are stress related and chronic stress attacks the immune system and makes us vulnerable to infections, virus attack and cancer. In fact, this is a major motive for people taking to Laughter Yoga. You can feel the difference from the very first session. You get energized; your mood changes and you feel great. With regular practice you can experience a big change in mental and physical health. Laughter Yoga practitioners are happier and healthier; they can cope with stress better, and have a positive outlook on life.


          


How Laughter Yoga Works As Laughter Therapy


The healing effects of Laughter Yoga come from following reasons. The immune system is the master key of health and if it weakens one is exposed to constant infection and sickness. Scientific research by Dr. Lee Berk from Loma Linda University, California proved that laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing the number of natural killer cells and increase in the antibodies. Dr. Kataria says, “Ever since I started the laughter clubs, I don't suffer from cough, cold or sore throat anymore.”



The disease process has two components according to Dr. Kataria – one is the organic disease itself; and the second is the mental component in the form of anxiety, fear and depression. Why people get therapeutic benefits from Laughter Yoga so quickly is because it removes the mental factor immediately and one finds an improvement in symptoms. Rest of the healing effects comes from increasing oxygen supply to the body cells, strengthening the immune system, increasing blood circulation and creating positive mental state.


         

Laughter Therapy For Reducing Stress

Stress and depression are two major components of ill health. Most health benefits people get are because they are able to manage physical, mental and emotional stress with Laughter Yoga exercises. Once the stress levels are down, the immune system becomes stronger automatically.


Laughter Yoga As An Exercise

10 minutes of healthy laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter is the best cardio workout. As an exercise it has similar benefits as compared to any other aerobic activities like jogging, dining swimming and cycling.

Laughter Yoga is ideally suitable for people who cannot walk; have no time to exercise like business professionals and those who are bedridden.


Laughter Therapy For Cancer Patients

The immune system plays an important role in the causation and prognosis of cancer. In fact, cancer is most likely to occur because of a weak immune system. Most of the natural treatments for cancer are focused on strengthening the immune system to stem the rapid growth of cancer cells. Laughter therapy increases the count of natural killer cells which is an important component of the immune system and helps to overcome and destroy cancer cells.


Laughter Therapy And Role Of Oxygen

Dr. Otto Warburg, German scientist and Nobel Laureate said that the main reason we fall sick is because there is lack of oxygen in the body cells. Since Laughter Yoga combines laughter exercises and breathing from yoga, it brings more oxygen to the body and brain. Good supply of oxygen is the key for maintaining good health as well as healing a variety of illnesses. It is also important for people suffering from cancer and chronic respiratory diseases like bronchitis and others.


       


Laughter Therapy For Depression


Depression is the number one sickness in the world and millions of dollars are spent on producing antidepressant drugs especially in the west where people feel lonelier and isolated due to high divorce rate, faulty relationship patterns etc. Laughter Yoga is extremely therapeutic for depression as it helps to release certain neurotransmitters from the brain cells as well as help people to stay connected and share their feelings and emotions.


Laughter Therapy For Heart Disease And Blood Pressure

High blood pressure and heart diseases are increasing at an alarming rate because of tremendous stress. Dr. Michael Miller of Maryland University did some scientific study and proved that laughter improves blood circulation to the coronary arteries and also dilates the blood vessels to help reduce blood pressure. People coming to Laughter Yoga clubs found that their blood pressure came down considerably and they could reduce anti - hypertensive medication. This also helps to reduce the risk of a brain stroke.


Laughter Therapy For Mental Health

A major causal factor of many illnesses is a person's inability to express their feelings and emotions. People are afraid of reactions and conflict. As a result they suppress and hold their emotions which ultimately affect the immune system adversely leading to a variety of sickness. Laughter Yoga is a cathartic exercise which helps people release their blocked emotions in a non-violent way and makes them emotionally balanced. Bangalore research indicates that Laughter Yoga also helps to increase positive emotions and decrease the negative ones thereby promoting a healthy life.


Laughter Therapy For Diabetes

Dr. Lee Berk’s recent study confirms that laughter therapy significantly helps to bring down blood sugar levels thereby controlling diabetes.  A research study in Bhopal monitored some laughter club members suffering from diabetes and found that the laughter group had a better control of blood sugar than those doing other exercises.


Laughter Therapy For Chronic Illnesses

Since most people in laughter clubs in India are 50 and above, they are likely to suffer from several age related illnesses. We found that they benefited immensely from Laughter Yoga and the incidence of chronic illnesses like arthritis, chronic aches and pains, migraine headaches, allergies, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis was greatly reduced.  It may not cure the disease but definitely helps in enhancing one’s ability to cope with and maintain a positive attitude.


      

The Amazing Life of Norman Cousins
the man who laughed himself to health

Norman Cousins (1915 to 1990), longtime editor of the Saturday Review, global peacemaker, receiver of hundreds of awards including the UN Peace Medal and nearly fifty honorary doctorate degrees, overcame a life threatening disease and a massive coronary, each time using his own nutritional and emotional support protocol.

Cousin’s seminal book ”Anatomy of an Illness” details his healing journey overcoming ankylosing spondylitis (a degenerative disease causing the breakdown of collagen). Given up to die within a few months in 1965, almost completely paralyzed, Cousins checked out of the hospital, moved into a hotel room and began taking extremely high doses of vitamin C while exposing himself to a continuous stream of humorous films and similar ”laughing matter”. His condition steadily improved and Cousins regained the use of his limbs until he was able to return to his full-time job at the Saturday Review.

Here are some of the books by Norman Cousing exploring “humor therapy”, the power of belief and the mind-body connection.


  • Anatomy of an Illness As Perceived by the Patient : Reflections on Healing and Regeneration

A special gift edition of Norman Cousins's phenomenal bestseller on illness overcome and the triumph of the human spirit. The premise of Norman Cousins's enormously influential work is that the human mind is capable of promoting the body's capacity for combating illness and healing itself even when faced with a seemingly hopeless medical predicament.


  • Head First : The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit

Cousins' pioneering account of his personal triumph over severe illness... Head First depicts Cousins' 10-year quest to find the proof that positive attitudes are actually biochemical factors which combat disease. (Ingram) “This book shows how remarkable and awesome the human spirit truly is.” (From a reader review)

  • Persuasion and Healing : A Comparative Study of Psychotherapy
  • The Celebration of Life: A Dialogue on Hope, Spirit, and the Immortality of the Soul
  • Healing and Belief, by Norman Cousins, William Smith

 Nutrition and Diet

Mindful Eating
Cancer and Diet
Juicing
Healthy Alkaline Foods
Power of Enzymes
Good Fats Bad Fats
Spirulina
Wheatgrass
Chlorophyll in Our Diet
Super Food Sprouts
Goji Berries
Master Tonic
Home made Almond Milk
 ← Yoga

 

 

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