The Power of Laughter Can Help Heal All Wounds Protection Status
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From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. — Dr. Seuss

I have been referred to as the "crazy wound nurse" by many of my co-workers and patients throughout the years. I've been known to dance, sing, rap, and even do a cartwheel in the hallway when a wound has been given the status "HEALED." Why do I do this? No, I am not really crazy. I am just a passionate and caring wound nurse that has experienced both sides of the coin.

From chuckling, giggling, har-dee-har-haring, snickering, to snorting, these are the sounds of laughter bounding from our emotional core that help us feel better. In today's stressful world, we need to laugh as much as we can. Laughter lifts us up during tough times, and can sometimes help carry us through the day. We all need a daily dose of laughter.

Of course you can't just chuckle away your medical condition or heal your wound by laughing. However, there is a good deal of scientific research to support the idea that laughter can indeed improve our health and contribute to healing. There is a great deal of physical and emotional stress to the wound care patient AND caregiver. Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand.

Therapeutic Indications for Laughter in Medicine

Research has proved there is a long list of health care benefits. Laughter therapy has been shown to:

  • Boost your immune and circulatory systems
  • Enhance oxygen intake, while stimulating the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles
  • Trigger the release of endorphins
  • Ease digestion, and soothe stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental health
  • Reduce stress/tension and promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life

The use of laughter has been used in medicine for years. The ancient Greek physicians prescribed laughter for their patients by visiting the hall of comedians. Early Native Americans used clowns to work with their witch doctors. They too realized the powerful effects of humor and laughter in healing. In the 13th century, surgeons used humor to distract patients from pain. Today more than ever before, people are turning to humor for therapy and healing. Laughter yoga, and other types of laughter therapy are becoming more complementary to clinics and hospitals. Medical journals now acknowledge laughter therapy is improving quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.

Laughing becomes therapeutic for both the patient and the health care professional. I encourage you to make laughter a part of your everyday routine. We all need a prescription from our physician: Rx: A heaping cupful of belly aching laughter daily and PRN.

About the Author
Cheryl Carver is an independent wound educator and consultant. Carver's experience includes over a decade of hospital wound care and hyperbaric medicine. Carver single-handedly developed a comprehensive educational training manual for onboarding physicians and is the star of disease-specific educational video sessions accessible to employee providers and colleagues. Carver educates onboarding providers, in addition to bedside nurses in the numerous nursing homes across the country. Carver serves as a wound care certification committee member for the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, and is a board member of the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society Mid-West Chapter.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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It's so good to see leaders in health care like Ms. Carver who not only care about their patients, but obviously love their career and strive to make improvements for all. A smiling, laughing caregiver is a shining light to any patient. Shine on Ms. Carver!

Cheryl you are spot on. Laughter and your smiling face were a very important part of the healing experience for two members of our family. Continue to educate, there are many professionals who haven't been thoroughly educated in the important area of wound care.

Kudos to you Cheryl! Caregivers with such sunny dispositions and a Patch Adams mentality helps ease far many pains that analgesics could even begin to touch. Keep on with your healing mission!

You are awesome and very inspiring!

This is one of my favorite posts of yours!!!

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