Laugh it up! - A Speech on the Medical Benefits of Laughter

Essay by TK-TrianumetzuHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2007

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Our five senses are not enough for ideal living. We need to use our sixth sense: our sense of humor. Humor is not merely telling jokes; it is the way we view the world. We can be sincere about life without taking it so seriously. We can laugh about our mistakes and pain. Louis Kornenberger explains: “Humor simultaneously wounds and heals, indicts and pardons, diminishes and enlarges; it constitutes inner growth at the expense of outer gain.”Yet, we humans laugh an average of only 17 times a day. Biologically, humans are the few living beings that laugh, and yet we take this luxury for granted. Laughter releases endorphins, a drug 10 times more powerful than morphine, into the body. This gives the body that feel-good feeling. Laughter can lead to humans having healthier lives, as well as many other benefits.

In the first chapter of Norman Cousin’s book “Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient,” he tells about how he was diagnosed in 1964 with AS (the acute inflammation of the spine).

He goes on to say that his case was so severe that he was given a one in five-hundred chance of recovery and only a few months to live. Realizing that negative thoughts and attitudes can result in illness, he reasoned that positive thoughts and attitudes might have the opposite effect. So he left the hospital and checked into a hotel where he took mega doses of Vitamin C and watched humorous movies and shows. He found that ten minutes of boisterous laughter resulted in at least two hours of pain-free sleep. He continued his routine until he recovered.

That shows that laughter can possibly be a miracle cure.

However, that is just one benefit of laughing. There are numerous others. For instance, laughter...