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Although it does not cure diseases, laughter therapy is a group psychotherapeutic technique that can produce mental and emotional benefits through laughter
Laughter is known worldwide as one of the most favorable factors for a better mood and as an anti-stress and positive method. And although it seems that laughter therapy was discovered very recently, there are numerous testimonies of its use for medicinal purposes and to improve health in various cultures throughout the history of mankind.
The first data on record refers to the ancient Chinese empire in which more than 4,000 years ago there were already places that enabled people to meet to laugh as a means of balancing their health.
Although the use of laughter and its surroundings for therapeutic purposes has been present throughout history, it has been since the 70s when it has begun to arouse the interest of the Western scientific community and when research has proliferated and studies of all kinds around this healthy question. At present, there are countless works that address the benefits of positive emotions, humor, and laughter in the different aspects of human health.
After experiencing laughter for several minutes, all people feel a positive and elevated state of mind, an optimistic vital attitude, a feeling of global relaxation, certain fatigue, frequently discomfort in the abdominal muscles, those of the face or those of the neck as a result of their contraction and intensified exercise and greater closeness and sympathy towards the people with whom laughter has been shared.
Beyond the immediate effects that laughter has on those who experience it, participation in laughter therapy sessions generates a broader and deeper spectrum of positive consequences and leaves a trail of testimonies of the type
Physical benefits of laughter:
• Relaxes the body
• Supports the heart and circulatory system
• Improves respiratory function and increases oxygenation
• Supports the immune system
• Has an analgesic effect due to the release of endorphins
Psychological and social benefits of laughter and humor:
• Reduces anxiety and stress
• Relieves symptoms of depression
• Distract from worries and cut negative thoughts
• Strengthens self-esteem
• Helps to deal positively with everyday problems
• Enhances intellectual abilities
• It allows to strengthen relationships, increase trust, and reinforce feelings of belonging, closeness, friendship, and love. They predispose to cooperation and solidarity
• Facilitates communication between people
• Helps prevent conflicts and reduce levels of aggressiveness