Humor Therapy is the concept of using humor, smiling, and laughter in a therapeutic manner to deal with and help treat medical illness. Humor can be a powerful tool for healing. Studies have shown medical benefits of humor including:

1) decreasing levels of the stress hormone

2) lowering blood pressure

3) strengthening the immune system and

4) decreasing pain.

Humor can be especially helpful for patients with chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Laughter can help increase oxygen intake, decrease stress, and boost your mood. It leads to the release of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Laughter can decrease the inflammatory state of your body and skin.

In dealing with a diagnosis of psoriasis, humor can be a helpful tool. It can help fight frustration and emotional distress from living with psoriasis.

Ways to add humor to our lives:

–      Watch a comedian on Netflix or go to a comedy show. Comedian Brian Regan is coming to the Lied Center on November 18th.

–      Be quick to laugh around friends or family

–      Read columns written by humorists

–      Don’t take things too seriously – laugh it off

–      Spend time with people who make you laugh – plan a night out with friends

–      Send your friend a meme via text

Consider the power of humor therapy for psoriasis in addition to your traditional medical treatments recommended by your dermatologist at Sutton Dermatology + Aesthetics.

 

Sources:

Osincup, P. “Harnessing the Power of Humor for Psoriasis.” Practical Dermatology. May 2019. 

“Humor Therapy.” University of Michigan Medicine

“Stress Relief from Laughter? It’s no Joke.” Mayo Clinic. April 2019.

 

This article was written by Stephanie Sutton, MD, who is a contributing author to the Sutton Dermatology Blog. Stephanie Sutton is a psychiatrist and she focuses on wellness. 

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