Fibromyalgia and Humor Therapy
One type of alternative fibromyalgia therapy for treating fibromyalgia syndrome that is becoming increasingly popular is humor therapy. Humor therapy, also known as therapeutic humor, can help to alleviate some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms. But what is humor therapy and why should it be included in fibromyalgia treatment?
What is Humor Therapy?
Therapeutic humor uses the power of smiling and laugher to heal the body, both physically and mentally, by promoting overall relaxation. It is also sometimes incorporated with another form of alternative fibromyalgia therapy, yoga, and is in this case referred to as laughter yoga.
Humor therapy is believed to have been developed thousands of years ago, with the first historical reference to humor therapy being recorded in the fourteenth century by a French surgeon named Henri de Mondeville.
Modern humor therapy was developed in the 1930s, when clowns were brought in to visit with sick children in hospitals.
In 1979, author Norman Cousins brought to the attention of the medical community the benefits of humor therapy.
Humor therapy is practiced in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities; increasingly, therapeutic humor courses are being offered through private organizations and local health centers.
The Benefits of Humor Therapy
There are many health benefits that have been linked to humor therapy, including the following:
- reduced emotional stress
- reduced muscle tension
- improved breathing
- reduced blood pressure
- improved memory
- reduced anxiety
What Does Humor Therapy Help to Treat?
Humor therapy can help to treat a variety of illnesses, diseases and conditions, including the following:
- anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder
- high blood pressure
- muscle tension
Humor therapy has also been shown to boost the immune system by increasing the number and activity of natural killer cells that attack viral cells in the body as well as increase the production of antibodies. Therapeutic humor also decreases the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, high levels of which can increase the chance of disease and other illness.
In addition, humor therapy activities can help to resolve emotional problems by reducing negative emotions such as anger, fear and jealousy, which can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health.
As such, humor as therapy can help to improve the overall quality of an individual’s life.
Humor Therapy and Fibromyalgia
Humor therapy is becoming an increasingly attractive and reputable form of fibromyalgia treatment. This is because humor therapy activities can help to treat many symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as: