Posted by: Thixia | March 29, 2008

Healing Power of Laughter 3 of 3

Seriously ill people report feeling “cut out” of the world as they begin sinking into death, but laughter brings them right back in again, bonding them to their loved ones.On Jan.  27, 1989, just 10 months before his death, Cousins would get the last laugh.  The Journal of the American Medical Association published a vindicating article titled “Laugh if this is a joke” and Dr.  Kataria would later read it and go on to create Laughter Yoga.  In the piece, Lars Ljungdahl, a Swedish medical researcher, concludes sustained laughter “can increase the quality of life for patients with chronic problems and that laughter has an immediate symptom-relieving effect.”

Norman Cousins died in 1990 at 75, 26 years after receiving 500-to-1 odds and six months to live.  Although controversy now swirls over his original diagnosis, Cousins clearly started something.  His ideas helped launch the laughter movement and the positive psychology movement.  The truly amazing thing is even though the man with the greatest contagious laugh may be long gone, we still hear him laughing.


– The first Sunday of every May is World Laughter Day, an event started by the Laughter Yoga movement. world-laughter-day.php

– “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain

– “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” — Victor Borge

– “Laughter is a form of internal jogging.  It moves your internal organs around.  …  It is an igniter of great expectations.” — Norman Cousins

Courtesy of:

© The Edmonton Journal 2008

Albert Nerenberg

For the Montreal Gazette;

Canwest News Service



  1. Thanks for the positive view. Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to look on the bright side of life in the face of a debilitating illness like MS, but we just have to keep trying, I guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: