He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.
─ Job 8:21
The gift of laughter is a natural healing agent. It is a contagious emotion that brings us together in the most surprising ways. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) use humor therapy to promote health and wellness in their patients and their families who love them. Their goal is to practice the natural physiological course of hilarity to relieve some of the patient’s physical or emotional anxieties they experience throughout their treatment.
Humor has been used in medicine for hundreds of years. Surgeons distracted patients from their pain with laughter in the 13th century. Researchers have found occurrences of laughter assist with pain reduction, decrease stress-related hormones and improve the immune system. Medical journals have recognized laughter therapy as a positive way to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.
CTCA’s laughter therapy sessions encourage patients and their families to use laughter as an instrument for healing. Patients participate in laugh-related physical exercises, which include greeting one another with laughter and producing fake laughter.
The healing power of laughter comes as no surprise to those who study the Bible. God declared a cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). When we embrace laughter, real or fake, it serves as a diversion from whatever is going on in our world, giving us hope. It produces a physical change in the body and the results can leave a positive change in our body, mind and soul for hours.
Today’s One Thing
Find a way to laugh today. Let the joy of the Lord bubble up out of you. Trust God to bring true joy and laughter to your heart today.