Not everyone knows that there exists a whole science of laughter and it is called gelotology. It claims that laughter, laughter therapy is able to have a positive impact on human physiology. Laughter therapy is widely used by psychologists worldwide.
Laughter therapy, what is it?
Laughter therapy is one of the methods of psychotherapy, which is practiced by modern psychologists all over the world since the 60s. Gelotology manifests that a person can treat some of his diseases by laughing. Referring also to history, we see that even the great Hippocrates said that laughter is a medicine and that it brings invaluable benefit to our health.
Why laughter is so useful and on what principles the laughter therapy is built?
William Fry, a professor of Psychology from Stanford University, considered laughter as one of the types of breathing, at which the inhale increases and exhalation is shortened, herewith the intensity of such laughter makes the lungs to get completely rid of air. At this moment the body’s biochemical reactions occur. In particular, the laughter therapy helps to reduce the level of stress hormones – adrenalin and cortisone, and at the same time promotes the release of endorphins, that can reduce the emotional and physical pain, thus a feeling of satisfaction appears.
In addition, laughter therapy helps to cleanse the upper air passages and improve the blood circulation. Therefore laughter therapy can be compared to a walk in the woods or an oxygen cocktail.
By means of laughter therapy, first of all, the accumulated psychological problems can be solved. Laughing, we overcome stress, become more sociable, get rid of hatred, anger and resentment, reset the negative emotions and irritation. Laughter, which began in a state of relative rest, eventually restores our entire body.
But the benefits of laughter therapy do not end thereon. You do not have enough good rest? Laughter therapy for only 5 minutes will replace a 40-minute rest. Therefore, if you suffer the lack of sleep – just laugh and you will immediately feel how the body is filled with cheerfulness and energy.
No time for training in the gym? Also laugh! Laughter therapy helps almost 80 muscle groups to relax. During laughter therapy the heartbeat quickens, blood cholesterol level decreases, and endocrine glands produce substances that contribute to the removal of headaches. It’s hard to believe, but 1 minute of laughter therapy is equal to 30 minutes of aerobics.
Laughter therapy may work as a personal cosmetologist. Laughing involves almost all the facial muscles, thereby increasing their tone and, consequently, improving the appearance.
Thus today there are three subtypes of laughter therapy:
- Classical laughter therapy – conducting psychological trainings in groups and individually;
- Laughter Yoga – Indian technique of correct, natural and light laughter;
- Medical clownery – employees of medical institutions make some performances for the patients.
During special trainings, under the guidance of an experienced specialist, people learn to laugh properly. To laugh in such a way that laughter will bring maximum benefit to their health. They learn such laughter with the help of special exercises – breathing and physical, autotrainings, yoga, and special games. Medical studies have shown that the cerebral cortex contains areas that are responsible for the overall physical condition of a person and their proper work cause a sense of happiness.
Laughter can influence these “areas of happiness”! When a person laughs, the intensity of the blood flow to the brain increases, and the cells of the gray matter of the brain receive a large dose of oxygen. As a result, the weariness and headaches go away, the blood circulation in the vessels improves, the upper respiratory tract is cleared, endorphins are produced – the hormones of happiness, depression and other mental illnesses disappear. Shakespeare said, “A merry heart lives long.” Here you have the principle of the laughter therapy.
Wise nature has given the human laughter not in vain. It releases vast amounts of energy, rejuvenates and heals us, makes it possible to throw off the heaviness of accumulated thoughts, problems. But how to use laughter to fight for our health teaches the laughter therapy. Laughter therapy is a great healer. So laugh more often and be healthy!