Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 1, Pages 61-63
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nek015
Review

Humor and Laughter may Influence Health. I. History and Background

1Indiana State University, College of Nursing, IN, USA
2University of South Florida, College of Nursing, FL, USA

Received 30 March 2005

Copyright © 2006 Mary Payne Bennett and Mary Payne Bennett. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Articles in both the lay and professional literature have extolled the virtues of humor, many giving the impression that the health benefits of humor are well documented by the scientific and medical community. The concept that humor or laughter can be therapeutic goes back to biblical times and this belief has received varying levels of support from the scientific community at different points in its history. Current research indicates that using humor is well accepted by the public and is frequently used as a coping mechanism. However, the scientific evidence of the benefits of using humor on various health related outcomes still leaves many questions unanswered.