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Humor and Healing The Mind-Body Connection As it is not proper to cure the eyes without the head nor the head without the body so neither is it proper to cure the body without the soulSocratesCousins 56 The word to heal comes from the root word haelen which means to make whole Bringing together the body mind and spirit can be healing The word humor itself is a word of many meanings The root of the word is umor meaning liquid or fluid Moyers 221 In the Middle Ages humor referred to an energy that was thought to relate to a body fluid and an emotional state This energy was believed to determine health and disposition eg Hes in a bad humor In modern dictionaries humor is defined as the quality of being laughable or comical or as a state of mind mood spirit Humor then is flowing involving basic characteristics of the individual expressed in the body and emotions Humor enhances the creative process and is one of the coping devices used to combat stress and disease Humor can be used successfully in the classroom in the workplace in therapy and counseling and in medicine to assist in the healing process Cousins 78 Laughter improves self-esteem enhances social interaction and generally makes life more enjoyable Laughter can provide a cathartic release a purifying of emotions and release of emotional tension Laughter crying raging and trembling are all cathartic activities which can unblock energy flow Laughter is more than a visual and vocal behavior It is accompanied by a wide range of physiological changes Swencionis 162 During vigorous laughter the body brings in extra oxygen shudders the internal organs causes muscles to contract and activates the hypothalamus pituitary and adrenal glands This results in an increase in the secretion of endorphins internally produced morphine-like molecules This internal jogging produces an increase in oxygen absorption increase in heart
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