Laughter is the best medicine for seniors in Joliet

Laughter is good medicine for seniors in Shorewood, Joliet, Plainfield, Channahon, Crest Hill, Minooka, Naperville, Morris, Aurora, LockportA good belly laugh sure feels good, doesn’t it? Medical experts have known for a long time that laughter promotes well being and reduces stress for all ages. For seniors, it also generates positive thoughts and lifts sadness and loneliness. It’s just good therapy. It’s also free.

Laughter has been proven to reduce pain. From Laughter Remedy, Paul McGhee, PhD. writes, “A nurse once told me of a Methodist minister who had been in a serious accident and had to spend several weeks in the hospital. He had a lot of pain, and was given shots to reduce it. The procedure was always the same. When the pain got bad enough, he would ring a buzzer near his bed, and a nurse would soon come to give him the shot. One day, he rang for the nurse and then rolled over on his side (with his back to the door), pulled his hospital gown up over his exposed backside, and waited for the nurse to come in. When he heard the door open, he pointed to his right bare buttock and said, ‘Why don’t you give me the shot right here this time?’

After a few moments of silence, he looked up. It was a woman from his church! The minister, realizing what he had done, started laughing. He laughed so hard that tears were coming out of his eyes when the nurse arrived. When he tried to explain what had happened, he began laughing even harder. When he was finally able to tell the nurse the whole story, what do you think he noticed? His pain was gone! He didn’t need the shot, and didn’t ask for one for another 90 minutes.”

Medical experts tell us that besides reducing pain and stress, laughter can boost the immune system, relax muscles, lower blood pressure, and cleanse the lungs.

According to Dr. William Fry from Stanford University, one minute of laughter is equal to ten minutes on a rowing machine. Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation like aerobic exercise. Laughter exercise is especially well suited for seniors, sedentary people and those who are confined to a bed or wheelchair.

In the field of senior care, we know that laughter clubs are popular in assisted living or retirement homes. And why not? Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict, and nothing works faster or more dependably to bring the mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens burdens, inspires hopes, connects one to others, and keeps a senior grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for seniors to deal with their problems, enhance their relationships, and support both physical and emotional health.

Here are five great quotes about laughter as medicine.

“You cannot be mad at somebody who makes you laugh. It’s as simple as that.”
Jay Leno

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
e.e.cummings

“Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.”
Elsa Maxwell

“I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world.”
Peter Ustinov

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”
Michael Pritchard

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