The healing power of LAUGHTER

Charlie Chaplin: “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.”

“A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” Groucho Marx

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” Bible, Book of Proverbs 17:22

„Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.“ Lord Byron

„I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher.“

H.H. XIV. Dalai Lama


Laughter usually arises when a situation, which is presumed to be adverse, reveals as harmless. It means laughter is related to emotions of deep relief accompanied with pleasant and positive feelings.

On the physical level, it is reflected in decrease in stress-hormones (cortisol, epinephrine), increase in endorphins (natural analgesics) and in strengthening of the immune system (increased natural cell killers, T-lymphocytes and immunoglobulins).  

Laughter makes the breathing muscles exercise, strengthens diaphragm and enhances blood perfusion and gas exchange in the lungs.

Another advantage of this non-pharmacological and non-invasive medicine is lack of the adverse side-effects.

Laughter proved health benefits throughout most of the medical domains, including psychiatric disorders, pain, cancer or chronical lung diseases, such as COPD.

Although one might consider the benefits of spontaneous and simulated laughter would not be the same, experiments have shown otherwise. Brain apparently doesn’t distinguish between the spontaneous and self-induced laughing, both of them having identical beneficial effects.

Laughter therapy is another excellent evidence of the interconnectedness of the emotions and somatic condition of the organism. Research in psychoneuroimmunology supports the belief that the human emotions, the mind and body communicate through a complex flow of hormones, cytokines, and neurotransmitters. The increased scientific evidence clearly documents that mood, thoughts, and feelings have a profound impact on our immune system and general health.

There are many different means of “Laughter therapy”, you can get inspired e.g., by the “public transport laughter effect

In Mehana institute as well, laughter makes an inseparable part of our programs. Be welcome to choose one for you!

Dec 21, 2022

Author Kristina Höschlová