Laughter Is Good Medicine

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Anthropological research suggests laughter and humor are genetically built-in, and that humor, historically, has functioned as “a social glue.” The critical laughter trigger for most people is not necessarily a joke or funny movie, but rather another person
  • Laughter is contagious. The sound of laughter triggers regions in the premotor cortical region of your brain, which is involved in moving your facial muscles to correspond with sound
  • While children laugh on average 300 times a day, adults laugh only 17 times a day on average. Suggestions for how to get more laughter in your life are included
  • In one study, even after adjusting for confounding factors, the prevalence of heart diseases among those who rarely or never laughed was 21% higher, and the ratio of stroke 60% higher, than among those who laughed every day
  • Benefits of laughter have been reported in geriatrics, critical and general patient care, rehabilitation, home care, hospice care, oncology, psychiatry, rheumatology, palliative care and terminal care

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9 Strange but True Medical Practices

Have you ever considered the fact that you were ill because there was too much blood in your body? How about curing yourself by drilling a hole in your skull to let evil spirits out? These questions may sound far-fetched to you, but there are those who believed–and, though far fewer—who still believe in these causes and treatments for certain health conditions.

Medicine has come a long way over the years, but some things have not changed. Here are nine strange but true medical practices that will leave you shocked, especially when you learn that many of them are still in use today.

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