Certified laugh specialist Michele B. Granberg revealed the physical and emotional benefits of laughter as medicine during a Leaders in Healthcare meeting on Tuesday.
Granberg, director of the Center for Relaxation and Healing in Plainsboro, N.J., specializes in holistic healing, a treatment approach focused on emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health without the use of medication.
When used in a therapeutic setting, laughter is a form of holistic healing and is simulated to “stir up our natural inclination to heal,” Granberg said.
According to Granberg, the body does not know the difference between real and false laughter. Patients can reap the benefits of this treatment using simulated laughter.
“This approach involves bringing about laughter by choice, not necessarily through jokes,” Granberg said.
Laughter is contagious and helps patients reclaim spontaneity and silliness, while temporarily relieving depression and anxiety, according to Granberg.
Nursing student Vu Nguyen said that health care will need to use holistic healing as a method of disease prevention in the future.
The average adult laughs about 10 times per day while the average child laughs more than 200 times per day, according to Granberg.
“When you bring back laughter, you bring back joy, which is the essence of healing,” Granberg said.
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