Laughter is Good Medicine
Bob’s oncologist gave him up to 14 days to live; his bi-weekly blood transfusions were no longer effective at keeping him from severe debilitating fatigue.
Bob had the sense of humor of a healthy man and an upbeat acceptance of his prognosis as if he had a whole life ahead of him. Bob chuckled, “Well, I never have to do laundry again! When I am done wearing something I’ll just toss it in the trash.”
Laughter is potent medicine for stress, pain and conflict. A good laugh can bring the mind back to focus, can lighten mood, and deepen connections between people. Studies have shown than laughter has beneficial effects on the body to include increased oxygen use which leads to better circulation, reduced pain, increased pain tolerance and relaxation.
It is always one of my goals to make my hospice patients and families laugh. Bob made reaching this goal easy. Of course there are times when laughter would be inappropriate, but opportunities for a chuckle often present themselves.
Laughter enhances the quality of life, don’t use it sparingly.