Laughter Is The Best Medicine


Is Laughter Really The Best Medicine?


Is it true? Is laughter really the best medicine? And who came up with that philosophy in the first place? Some people credit Will Rogers with that clever quote. One thing is for sure, however…a lot of people believe it.


Norman Cousins wrote a book (Anatomy of an Illness) on this very subject. It described his own journey with a catastrophic illness in 1964 and how a positive attitude and laughter played a part in his recovery.


Studies have shown that powerful neurotransmitters and hormones are released by the brain during episodes of laughter. It has been proven that laughter reduces blood pressure, reduces stress, lessens pain, boosts the immune system and promotes a feeling of “well-being.” Aside from all the scientific proof, most people would rather laugh than cry and let’s face it…sometimes the two are pretty closely related!


As a registered nurse, I have cared for surgical patients who report extraordinary and uncontrolled pain even when medicated. These same patients can often make a complete turnaround …sometimes within minutes …when friends and family visit.


Somehow, the laughter and joy shared with these visitors is the miraculous medicine many patients need. And so if you ever wonder whether or not to visit an ailing friend…don’t think twice. Just do it!


Mary Englebright (an artist and author of prose) probably got it right when she said, “Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.” As for me, I choose fun and laughter. I hope you do too! So be sure to look on the bright side and laugh a little today. Life can be funny!




The International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine