Alternative Therapies and Lifestyle

Laughter Not Only Makes You Feel Better During Cancer, but Look Better, Too!

+ Pamela Friedman

Cancer treatments got you feeling negative about your appearance? Want a quick and easy way to diminish wrinkles, improve skin tone, and reduce stress? Put on your favorite comedy DVD, read a book of jokes, or head out to your local comedy club. Laughter, as you may have heard, is good for you-not just for your body and soul, but your complexion as well.

“Laughing improves skin tone and appearance by absorbing more air, therefore oxygenating the cells” says healthy-living spokesperson Laurel House, writing for Planet Green. “Just as smoking restricts oxygen to the body’s tissues and causes aging, an increase of oxygen invigorates the skin and brightens skin tone.”

We found the same idea at Tips For Success: “Laughter tones facial muscles and improves facial expressions. When you laugh, your face becomes red due to an increase in blood supply. Laughing people look more cheerful and attractive.”

Laughter has a myriad of health benefits. Studies have shown that it increases production of hormones involved in good mood and immunity, reduces production of detrimental stress hormones, raises good cholesterol, lowers inflammation, improves circulation, releases tension, opens airways, burns calories, and more. A study by UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found that watching comedy shows helped children tolerate pain for longer periods of time. In fact, the evidence behind laughter as a health medicine is so strong that a new alternative therapy called “laughter yoga” is fast catching on across the nation.

“People who practice yoga laughter are able to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure,” says the Standford Wellsphere web site. The idea originated in India in 1995, and now more than 6,000 facilities have cropped up around the world. According to, by combining deep breathing sequences with a hearty belly laugh, the body clears away negative energy and naturally reduces stress levels. adds: “Laughter Yoga techniques also have an impact on the face; the combination of releasing stress and loosening the upper body and neck muscles also flexes and strengthens key muscle groups in the face. From the jawline to the upper cheeks, your face gets a natural workout simply from laughing and smiling.”

Since laughter is also known to boost self-confidence and encourage healing, it’s the perfect alternative therapy for cancer patients. To get more humor into your life, treat yourself to a funny movie, a night out with humorous friends, or a laughter yoga class. Make it a habit to read the comics, or online joke-a-day websites. Tips for Success suggests exaggerating your troubles to hilarious levels that get you laughing. Boost your self-pity to new heights, act extremely stressed out, fall on the floor-pull out your best acting skills until you can’t help but chuckle at the silliness of it all. Make it a daily exercise to see how you can get yourself doubled over with hilarity. You’ll do your body, soul, and skin a world of good!

Do you have a great way to get yourself laughing? Please share!

Photo courtesy Bryan Zmijewski via

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