Gelotology is the study of humor and laughter, and its effects on the human body. It is also the psychological and physiological study of laughter. The word is from the Greek gelos, geloto meaning laugh, laughter.
A group of scientists at the University of California medical school say they have found the part of the brain that controls laughter. All of us are born with the physical and neurological apparatus for laughing, and we will do it without being taught how, starting at about 4 weeks of age.
Research has led to new and beneficial therapies practiced by doctors, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals using humor and laughter to help patients cope or treat a variety of physical and psychological issues. There seems to be something to the old saying "laughter is the best medicine." As Voltaire said, "The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease."
- Humor Therapy: It is also known as therapeutic humor. Using humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients' own humorous experiences.
- Laughter Therapy: Clients' laughter triggers are identified such as people in their lives, things from childhood, situations, movies, jokes, comedians, etc. that make them laugh.
- Laughter Meditation: In laughter meditation there are some 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, laughing and/or crying, and a period of meditative silence.
- Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs: Somewhat similar to traditional yoga, laughter yoga is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, and stretching techniques, along with laughter. Maybe they should just read some of my books.