The Healing Power in Laughter

LaughterAs some of you may know, I have been a self-help junkie for many, many years. I have always been attracted to those topics and the people that authored them. At some point during those years I heard there was a best-selling book about a man that healed himself from a terminal illness using laughter by watching the Marx Brothers. Some of you may not be familiar with the Marx Brothers but if you google them you’ll find this description on Wikipedia:

The Marx Brothers were a family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949.

That was certainly before I was born, but their motion pictures were on TV all the time when I was growing up. The point is, the Marx Brothers humor made this man laugh, and he used the power of laughter to his benefit. The man’s name is Norman Cousins and if you google his name, you will discover this clip from his Wikipedia page:

Told that he had little chance of surviving, Cousins developed a recovery program incorporating megadoses of Vitamin C, along with a positive attitude, love, faith, hope, and laughter induced by Marx Brothers films. “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported. “When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.”

By the way, the Title of his best selling book was “Anatomy of an Illness” which was also made into a movie starring Ed Asner as Norman. Both of them are available on Amazon.

Anatomy of an Illness

So, the next time you’re not feeling so well, perhaps you should sit down in a comfortable chair in front of your TV and watch whatever makes YOU laugh. My favorites are America’s Funniest Home Videos and Everybody Loves Raymond.

LOL – NO I’m NOT kidding! Laugh Out Loud. 🙂

Don Pasco

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