' A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken heart drieth the bones.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -Proverbs 17:2

A sedentary lifestyle is the greatest danger to health and exercise is often prescribed as an antidote. There is something far simpler and more effective than cardio, weightlifting and brisk walking , which is laughter. Laughter, my friends, is no laughing matter. It is as much an exercise as it is a natural reaction to something that is oddly funny. It exercises the muscles of the face and studies have found that more than fifteen minutes of sustained laughter exercises the muscles of your torso as well. In a capsule , it is an exercise often undermines and adds to other aspects of your life like psychological, emotional and social well-being.

How laughter can heal all health and mental pain?

One example of how our body through laughter, positive thinking and a string belief can heal itself, is embedded in the proverbial story of a sick woman who visited many physicians and took the prescribed antidotes without much effect. She grew weary, tired, troubled and perplexed at herself and her condition, for nobody could diagnose what exactly was wrong. It was the time she heard of a physician, who lived like a monk far deep in the forest. She travelled a long distance to meet him who gave her a patient ear, nodded his head and said that he had the elixir, a medicine which would cure all his ailments. He took out a crystal bottle which contained pale pink colour liquid. With instructions to be out in the sun, live in the nearby asharam with other  patients and synyasinis (female monks), she was in the pink of health, more healthy, happy and content, after a stipulated period of time frame.

The lesson from the above story

Let us view the story a little differently; the woman represents the disease burden on the medical system, the population at large and her disorders, through real and symptomatic have different roots. Her symptoms represent psychosomatic disorders which plague the system. Her cure is not conventionally possible, it needs a different approach. The need to devise or be appreciative of the alternative systems available to us is more important today than ever before when like  in the story the multitude of doctors represent the physicians who try to prune the disease and not uproot it.

The conclusion

Laughter is that alternative therapy to the disease burden that not just India but the entire world is facing. Laughter, like exercise, would bring the shift in eliminating diseases from its roots and not just symptoms. It is not only effective but also cost saving. Laughter alone can transform our nation, decrease disease burden and health expenditure which are more real. When people are much happier, it improves their quality of life, relationships and reduces their stress levels which inadvertently improves their productivity and increase the GDP of the economy.

According to the famous Charlie Chaplin, "A day without laughter is a day wasted".


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