“Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy.”
Catherine Rippenger Fenwick

The long-term evidence that laughter is effective in treating cancer and other diseases is empirical and even though there are many people who can testify, they all remain samples of 1. Possibly because laughter therapy does not involve an expensive pill that can be patented by a pharmaceutical company, there is no significant funding source for long-term (read “expensive”) scientific study of the effectiveness of laughter therapy despite thousands of years of documented human awareness of the healthy benefits of being merry. The average cost of cancer treatment in the USA is currently around $100,000 and up. To compare you can become fully certified in Laughter Yoga Laughter Wellness for just a few hundred dollars.

However, recent short-term clinical studies have demonstrated that laughter has many immediate benefits that include positive physiological changes and an overall sense of well being.

Immune system

Laughter is the best way to stimulate the thymus gland to produce lymphocytes containing T-cells, which ‘deal’ with cancer cells. Read more.

Respiratory system

All forms of cancer are characterized by two basic conditions: acidosis and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) at the cellular level. Laughter helps us keep healthy by enriching the blood with ample supplies of oxygen. Cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen. Many parasites and bacteria don’t survive well in the presence of oxygen, and to the extent that you can circulate extra oxygen throughout your body, you can help prevent, or in some cases treat, these diseases. Laughter Yoga and Laughter Wellness increase oxygen intake to the maximum by causing you to rapidly inhale and exhale during the process of laughter. Read more.

Stress relief

Hearty laughter causes the brain to release chemicals that reduce stress within minutes. It is typical to measure a 70% reduction in stress indicators after just 10 minutes of laughter. Read more.

Pain management

Hearty laughter causes the brain to release endorphin, a natural morphine that is also responsible for the “runner’s high”. A typical laughter session can provide two hours of pain relief without drugs, making it easier for patients to retain full control of their mental abilities and keep their spirits high. Read more.

Positive outlook

Hearty laughter quickly counters depression and negative outlook, especially when practiced within a group of peers. This is partly due to chemicals released by the brain and partly caused by a powerful emotional response to the group dynamics of laughter sessions. A positive mental state is very important when a person who is fighting a deadly disease like cancer. Read more.

Several studies have shown that a positive attitude or emotional state can boost your chances of surviving cancer. In one study, among patients with metastatic (spreading) cancers, those who expressed greater hope at the time of their diagnosis survived longer. In another study, over 400 reports of spontaneous remission of cancer were reviewed and analyzed. The patients themselves attributed their cure to a broad range of causes, but only one factor was common to all the cases–a shift toward greater hope and a positive attitude.

The late Norman Cousins described a national survey of oncologists (completed during his stay at the UCLA Medical School) in his last book, Head First: The Biology of Hope. Of the 649 who offered their opinions on the importance of various psychological factors in fighting cancer, “More than 90% of the physicians said they attached the highest value to the attitudes of hope and optimism.”

A seven-year, 54,000-person study concluded people with a sense of humor have a 70% greater chance of surviving cancer, and a Loma Linda University medical researcher even calculated precise chemical changes (laughter increased human growth hormone by 87%, which optimizes immunity.)

  • Dr. Michael B. Van Scoy-Morsher, an oncologist in California says that “one characteristic of the cancer patient who does well is the ability to often put cancer in the background for periods of time.
  • TV journalist Linda Ellerbee wrote about some of her cancer experiences “I think we are never braver than when we stand tall and look into the sun and laugh. Laughter may be a form of courage.
  • In his book “Intoxicated by My Illness,” Anatole Broyard wrote about the final months of his life after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He stated that “Illness is primarily a drama, and it should be possible to enjoy it as well as to suffer it. . . . . Illness,” after all, “is not all tragedy. Much of it is funny.

“4 months of laughter helped me greatly recover. Before I couldn’t move my fingers or walk. Now I can walk, and dance, and hug. My advice to people who suffer from cancer is don’t give up. Try Laughter Yoga. There is hope for the future.”
Nasuko Yamaguchi, breast cancer survivor

Laughter Yoga and Laughter Wellness are part of the solution

Cancer patients find it very easy to laugh with Laughter Yoga and Laughter Wellness as they provide a laughter delivery system that does not require medical clowns, joke books, funny videos or a sense of humor.

Laughter exercises provide a non-intellectual path to laughter. Cancer patients may be in emotional turmoil and become depressed, making it difficult for them to achieve laughter through intellectual stimuli like humorous videos. Laughter Yoga and Laughter Wellness approach laughter as a body exercise that can easily be done regardless of mood.

Laughter Yoga at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX)

To help cancer patients better cope with their diagnosis, the Place of wellness at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has added Laughter Yoga to its extensive list of complementary and integrative therapies.


Prepare To Be Laughter Yoga Wellness Amazed

Everybody knows that laughter feels good, but did you know that it is also a proven form of complementary medicine that helps people save money on their medical bills? Or that it can improve your productivity at work by up to 31%? We teach a joy-filled Laughter Yoga Wellness methodology that’s grounded in science and produces immediate results.

Gain A Leading Edge In Wellness

Learn a valuable therapeutic laughter skillset with the American School Of Laughter Yoga. We teach a modern, time-tested and systematic approach to personal and professional wellness through laughter worldwide since 2004. Learn all you need to know to teach Laughter Yoga, Laughter Wellness, and how to use your therapeutic laughter skills for free and for fee.

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A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing. -- Herman Melville
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Online Laughter Session Planner

Mark your calendar!

The 9th annual, 2014 All America Laughter Wellness and Laughter Yoga conference will take place in Los Angeles, California, on October 23-26, 2014. Our theme this year is New Frontiers In Wellness. We’ll explore how Laughter Professionals worldwide are reinventing Wellness Programs, bringing laughter to people of all ages and physical conditions in a variety of social and professional settings with simple activities that heal the mind, body and soul.

2014 All America Laughter Yoga Conference