The study of laughter and humor and their therapeutic effects on the human body is known as Gelotology.
Gelotology is a psychology term defined as ‘the science of laughter’. There are scientific facts behind the simple smile: laughter increases concentration and boosts your memory, and a smile has the ability to lift your mood, change your behaviour, or motivate you.
A smile can lift your mood, change your behaviour, or motivate you.
Several types of therapy have emerged which use laughter to help patients.
- Humor and Laughter Therapy consist of the use of humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients’ own humorous experiences. This can be provided individually or in a group setting. The process is facilitated by a clinician. It can also be used in conversation between medical professionals and patients.
- Laughter Meditation possesses similarities to traditional meditation. However, it is the laughter that focuses the person to concentrate on the moment, through a three-stage process of stretching, intentional laughing, and a period of meditative silence. It is sometimes done in group settings.
- Laughter Yoga is somewhat similar to traditional yoga, it is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, and stretching techniques, along with laughter. The structured format includes several laughter exercises for a period of 30 to 45 minutes facilitated by a trained individual. It can be used as supplemental or preventative therapy.