Archive for July, 2009
Congratulations and thanks for explaining research methods and research findings on humor/laughter benefits so nicely. People go on discussing these topics for ever and each one of us has to decide what, how to practice humor/laughter. My view is very simple that
“I laugh for myself and my own health first. If others can benefits then it is great.”
Thank God that I have met and connect through laughter with so manynice people in USA , Canada and India. I feel great and fortunate when I laugh daily and laugh with people, that is what matters to me. I really don’t care for any research results or findings but I do read most of the research published. ( Refer Health “The Power of a Giggle in Reader’s Digest July 2009 page 66 by Dr. Lee Berk)
Please don’t wait for research to start humor/laughter, just laugh and enjoy your life.
First fill up your own bucket with lots of laughter then you can share with others.
By the way I don’t do any humor because it is difficult for me to remember and deliver jokes. Welcome any more ideas from you about research findings about humor/laughter.
Please continue your jouney of humor/laughter and wish you all the success with LOVE, LAUGH to enjoy LIFE NOW,
More Comments about humor and Andy Rooney….
Gail: Excellent assessment of humor. This really puts everything into perspective! I’m making a copy of this. Thank you! However, one thought still lingers…. Since it appears being a “ham” doesn’t “cure” disease, what is a cured ham? hmmm….Regarding political humor, I respectfully disagree. Unless generic, we have extremely sensitive issues today that have divided the country. If liberal Jon Stewart was voted most trusted, then that indeed explains our current state of affairs. The country is falling apart so quickly it isn’t FUNNY. Since the Bush era, feelings have, for many, become visceral and are now at epidemic proportions of anger, frustration, etc., especially to those who see what is going on. I loved the one AATH conference I attended, until a liberal comedian / gifted songwriter got on stage and belittled Bush. It dampened the experience for me. Unfortunately, because of my work, etc., I haven’t been back at a conference, but that memory still lingers. Call me narrow-minded? You bet! Call me more concerned about helping save capitalism and quality medicine than being popular? You got it! Regardless, I also appreciate the wit, purpose, and incredible hard work done by those who keep AATH going! A great week to all and again, thank you Gail for this thought-provoking information. -Marian
Ok everyone. I am undoubtedly going to get some opposition to this e-mail, but as a good researcher, I feel the need to send it regardless. Research has never and will never PROVE anything. Research will only ever support or fail to support a hypothesis, theory or claim. That is why we must qualify our findings with statements such as “appears to suggest…” “may contribute to…” or “could lead to…”. For example, we say things such as “drinking while pregnant COULD cause birth defects in the fetus”. We cannot say that it definately does because in order to prove that we would have to examine every single child who was ever born to a woman who drank while she was pregnant and every single one of those children would have to show definitive signs of birth defects. The astronomical cost of such an undertaking aside, if we found even ONE child who suffered absolutely NO birth defects what-so-ever, we could not make the claim. BTW, there are indeed people whose mothers’ drank while pregnant with them and they have not suffered any defects. Now for a message from the American Cancer Society:
Humor therapy is the use of humor for the relief of pain and stress. It is used as a complimentary method to promote health and cope with illness.
Although available scientific evidence DOES NOT support claims that laughter can CURE cancer or any other disease, it CAN reduce stress and enhance a person’s quality of life. Humor has physical effects because it can stimulate the circulatory system, immune system and other systems in the body.
Available scientific eveidence DOES NOT support humor as an effect TREATMENT for cancer or any other disease; however, laughter has many benefits, including positive physical changes and an overall sense of well-being. One study found the use of humor led to an increase in pain tolerance. It is thought that laughter causes the release of special neurotransmitter substances in the brain called endorphines that help control pain. Another study found that neuroendocrine and stress-related hormones decreased during episodes of laughter. These findings provide support for the claim that humor CAN RELIEVE stress. More studies are needed to clarify the impact of laughter on health” www.cancer.org
We need to remember that Norman Cousins, to whom we all refer when we make our positive humor presentations I am sure, used a combination of humor AND vitamin therapy — so the evidence is inconclusive that one of these treatment methods worked over the other. Vitamin therapists could say that it wasn’t the humor at all but the vitamins, much the same as we would like to credit the humor for his recovery. They may have worked in concert with one another in order to help his body heal itself. Or perhaps, like the 4% of people who survive pancreatic cancer, he was just lucky or maybe had a genetic predisposition to going into remission from that particular illness. We will never know for certain.
So, was Andy Rooney correct when he implied that humor does not cure anything? It would appear so. But then again, nothing actually cures anything. Sometimes illnesses run their courses and people recover on their own without any medical intervention. Tylenol doesn’t cure a headache — your headache is still there, you just can’t feel it because the pain is numbed. Antibiotics don’t cure your infection — they simply kill the bacteria that is the source of your infection. After the bacteria is gone, the infection clears on its own. A cast doesn’t cure a broken bone — it simple immobilizes the limb so that the body can actually repair itself. I could go on and on, but I won’t.
So — I hope that this gives us all a little perspective. Humor is a wonderful tool and a fantastic treatment modality when used properly. I look forward to reading more and more studies on the therapeutic use of it in the future. As for political humor — BRING IT ON!!!!!! I love political humor — and we as a country must as well, otherwise Jon Stewart wouldn’t have been voted most trusted newsman in a recent survey!!! Of course we all must remember that there are 3 kinds of lies — lies, damn lies and statistics! LOL
We are funny people, all of us
I laugh at us a lot.
But most of all I laugh at those
Who think that they are not!
Gail Poverman-Kave, LCSW
One more comment…
Ok, here’s the deal. I am a hospital chaplain. I am very big on healing, and I am glad to use prayer, silence, food, or Marx Brothers clips to promote healing. However, when I use the word “cure” I am not refering to health and happiness, I am referring to a disease being eradicated and reversed (cured) due to humor/laughter. No research has yet proven it. If you know of any such studies, let me know. This by no means devalues the essential need for laughter through all the turning points of life. But I also do not want AATh to make grandiose claims about what laughter/humor provides.
I am arguing semantics here, I know. Yet, in my field it is important to use words correctly when it comes to such matters of life, death, and laughter. Call me anal.
What do you think about humor, health, laughter do you think it is good for you and your health?
Do you think it cures or helps in the healing process?
Prices lower than your Self-esteem!
I can’t even express how much this event touched my heart- Elaine did a much better job than I could.
What I will say is the experience will stay with me for quite awhile.
The children were fabulous and sooo grateful and kind- even though they have gone through so much in the very tiny little life’s they have lead so far.
I hope you all mark your calendars for next year- you don’t want to miss this.
I wish I could have been there the whole week- but know I would have gotten very attached to the children….
Mark your calendars for next year!!!!!
Did anyone see the recent column by Andy Rooney titled “Writing on my Mind?” A magazine editor wrote to say that they were doing an article on the healing power of laughter and asked him to please write back giving some examples of the sort of thing that makes him laugh.
To this Mr. Rooney said, “I throw this out, resisting the temptation to say that people who believe that laughter cures an illness make me laugh.”
We all know about the beneficial effects of laughter, therefore Mr. Rooney’s laughing at us and the work of AATH may actually be keeping him healthy, and he doesn’t even know why!
Best to all,
A baby seal walks into a bar and orders a Canadian Club…. Think about it!
I second how rewarding this day was, I also used a vacation day from work and I have to say it was well worth it. The children, camp buddies and the entire volunteer staff were wonderful.
On Wednesday, July 22nd, myself, Dot Hardy, Donna Onifer and Julie Gola spent the day working the carnival at Vision Hope’s Challengers for Life camp. As I am sure you all remember, this is a camp for foster children. Some of our previous fundraisers helped to sponsor several of these children and the grant Dot got from her employer helped to fund the birthday party that was given for all of the children.
I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful day this was for the 4 of us! We arrived at the camp at around 10:30am. We were asked to watch a training video that would help us understand the trauma that some of these children have been through in their short lives. It was heartbreaking.
We were then taken on a tour of the camp. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures. We were also taken on a tour of the “Sunshine Store”. This is a store that is set up by Vision Hope with all kinds of new and used clothing as well as some accessories. Each child is allowed to go in to the store and choose whatever they would like. A shoe store from Clinton Township was also coming on Thursday to fit each child with a new pair of shoes.
After the children ate lunch, the four of us worked the various carnival games that had been set up. These children were so sweet, so polite and so thankful to have the opportunity to be at the camp and to be a part of this day. It was so sad to see their sweet faces and know that they have endured so much pain already in their short lives. During these games, EVERYONE won a prize. In spite of some bad weather, we worked the carnival until about 5pm.
We left there wet and tired but so happy talking about the day. We will talk about it more at the meeting in August. I know the four of us plan on attending this camp again next year and we would LOVE to have any of you that are available to join us. It was one of the best “work vacation days” that I have ever taken.
Have a wonderful weekend!
There were a bunch of boys with their dads on the dock who had been fishing for hours and didn’t even have one nibble from a fish. We were there about fifteen minutes when my daughter pulled in a large mouth bass.
She has caught Perch and Blue Gill in the past but never a large mouth bass. When it hooked on the line it surfaced and tried to get loose. I quickly grabbed the net and lifted it out of the water. All the boys and their dads were congratulating her and a little envious at the same time.
I grabbed the fish out of the net, held it in my hand and used my ventriloquist skills to make the fish talk. My daughter was laughing; the parents were laughing but the boys were a little spooked.
See it is so easy to have a laugh and have some fun.