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Laughter can be a powerful therapy for most patients and the caregivers There are many benefits from the effects of humor and laughter on the body mind and spirit the patient during recovery from illness and the health professional during delivery of care Most experienced caregivers have discovered that attention to only the physical body during treatment will render a partial or temporary recovery The patients emotional responses belief system and support network may effect compliance of treatment and ability to cope with fear pain and lossMedical studies indicate that laughter boosts levels of endorphins the bodys natural painkillers and suppresses levels of epinephrine the stress hormone 3 The ability to laugh at a situation or problem provides a feeling of superiority and power Humor and laughter can foster a positive and hopeful attitude Humans are less likely to have feelings of depression and helplessness if we are able to laugh at what is troubling us Humor gives us a sense of perspective and may allow for refocusing thoughts during times of difficultly Laughter provides an opportunity for the release of those uncomfortable emotions which if oppressed may create changes that are harmfulCaregivers as well as patients are in need of the therapeutic effects of humor and laughter Healthcare providers may experience feelings of failure when their efforts are ineffective They may feel anger and frustration when a patient rejects care or is noncompliant with treatment They may feel grief when patients die or families mourn Caregivers are at risk physically too eg exhaustion from long shifts with inadequate staffing exposure to infectious organisms and physical abuse from combative patients Ability to see the humor in a situation and to laugh freely with coworkers can be an effective way to take care of the body mind and spiritIllness either acute onset or exacerbation of a chronic illness can be a stressful event Hospitalization separation from family invasive procedures complex technology or unfamiliar caregivers can all
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