Humanities at the Bedside

Humor - Session D

“Laughter is the best medicine” is a common phrase. It’s benefits have been proven in the medical literature over and over again with regards to cardiovascular health and endorphin release. Some of the benefits can be read in this patient pamphlet

There are various claims made about the benefits of laughter and humor in healing.

Humor in medicine

Questions for discussion:

What is the definition of laughter? Is there a role for laughter in our clinical practice. Should we joke around with children but not the elderly? Is laughter infectious? In the clinical setting, do you use humor to connect with patients, or to put yourself in a better mood?

What do you think when you hear laughter? What are the activities that you do for humor? How many times do you do these per week?


Exercise: Participate in a laughter yoga club near you. If there are none, follow along with which explains the laughter yoga exercises. Watch Dr. Madan Kataria’s TEDMED talk here,



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