What Is Humor Therapy?

Written By: Cambria Roland | Edited By: Meredith Kane & Hope England 


What is “humor therapy?

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E. E. Cummings

Laughter: We are born with it. It’s natural. It’s empowering. It possesses the ability to change a dark and dreary day into a more positive, brighter one. It is contagious and it brings people together.

Humor therapy, also called laugh therapy, is the use of humor to promote overall health and wellness. It aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort.

Research supporting laughter therapy

According to CancerCenter.com, “A growing body of research supports the theory that laughter may have therapeutic value. For years, the use of humor has been used in medicine. Surgeons used humor to distract patients from pain as early as the 13th century. Later, in the 20th century, came the scientific study of the effect of humor on physical wellness.”

Throughout time, researchers have conducted studies to further explore the impact of laughter and its correlation to health. After evaluating various participants before and after periods of laughter seemed to reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones, and boost the immune system.

Medical journals have acknowledged that laughter therapy can help improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Many hospitals now offer laughter therapy programs as a complementary treatment to illness.

The healing power of laughter

For people living with cancer, it may seem strange to find humor when facing such serious issues. Yet, laughter can be helpful in ways you might not have realized or imagined.

Laughter can help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. Laughter can be a natural diversion. When you laugh, no other thought comes to mind. Laughing can also induce physical changes in the body. After laughing for only a few minutes, you may feel better for hours.

When used in addition to conventional cancer treatments, laughter therapy may help in the overall healing process.


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