Laughter & Integrative Medicine
After spending 8 Years in the Pharmaceutical Industry, One of my passions has become Integrative Medicine.
What is Integrative Medicine ?
According to WebMD, Here is a brief description of Integrative Medicine.
Treating the Whole Person
Both doctors and patients alike are bonding with the philosophy of integrative medicine and its whole-person approach -- designed to treat the person, not just the disease.
Integrative Medicine, as it's often called, depends on a partnership between the patient and the doctor, where the goal is to treat the mind, body, and spirit, all at the same time.
While some of the therapies used may be nonconventional, a guiding principle within integrative medicine is to use therapies that have some high-quality evidence to support them.
Conventional and Alternative Approaches
The Duke Center for Integrative Medicine is a classic model of integrative care. It combines conventional Western medicine with alternative or complementary treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, yoga, and stress reduction techniques -- all in the effort to treat the whole person.
Louisville, KY ~ Center for Integrative Medicine & Intentional Wellness
Today, I attended the open house for the Center for Integrative Medicine in Louisville, KY. The Center's focus is to treat the Whole Person ~ the mind, body & spirit of each individual while working in partnership with each individuals primary care & specialty physicians.
One program the Center has created is the " Intentional Wellness " Program which is a healthy lifestyle program based on science which includes personalized nutrition and fitness programs, stress management techniques and lots of laughter.
Click Here for More Information about the Program:
Clifford Kuhn, MD, Louisville, KY ~ The Laugh Doctor
The laughter component of the program is facilitated by Dr. Clifford Kuhn of Louisville, KY. As a retired Psychiatrist, Dr. Kuhn has extensive knowledge and expertise about the benefits of laughter on Integrative Medicine.
Several years ago, Dr. Kuhn, hosted Dr. Kataria & his wife, Madhuri, in Louisville, KY when the first idea of Laughter clubs came to America. Steve Wilson of World Laughter Tour ( www.worldlaughtertour.com ) is credited to bringing Laughter Clubs to America.
There is more and more research being done on the health & Integrative Medicine benefits of Humor, Laughter & Laughter Yoga.
Here is some information Dr. Kataria has gathered on the Integrative Health benefits of Laughter Yoga:
Laughter Yoga & Cancer: http://www.laughteryoga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=619&Itemid=1371
Laughter Yoga & Depression: http://www.laughteryoga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=223&Itemid=1390
Laughter Yoga Research: http://www.laughteryoga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=89&Itemid=280
Andrew Weil, MD, Integrative Medicine Advocate recommends Laughter & Laughter Yoga
Dr Andrew Weil, Director of Integrative Medicine at University of Arizona, American Physician and several best selling books on health and healing, highly recommends laughter Yoga. Dr Kataria met him during his visit to states last year. Dr Weil is planning research on Laughter Yoga methods. This is what he said in his interview with LIME radio:
“We’ve all heard laughter is the best medicine, I think that may literally be true. I’m not talking about chuckling, I’m talking about real laughter when it becomes almost involuntary. Laugh until you cry, and your muscles hurt and you fall down. There’s a really dramatic change in physiology and neurochemistry, and there’s now a very interesting formal system of inducing laughter that came out of India – it’s called laughter yoga. It was the invention of an Indian physician who has started laughter yoga clubs around the world.
The method is interesting – groups of people meet on a regular basis. They begin by doing some physical exercises to warm up and then some breathing exercises and then they start laughing. They don’t use humor to do this, they simulate laughter and after a while in a group this becomes real laughter and it goes on for several minutes and at the end people are refreshed. This appears to lower stress dramatically, to deal with anxiety, to really improve a whole variety of physical symptoms.
Each person can choose whether adding more laughter into their lives benefits them individually.
Regardless of how much you laugh everyday, Dr. Kuhn states, " It all starts with a smile so Increase your Smileage today."
Love to Laugh ~ Laugh to Love, Melanie
See Dr. Kuhn's Biography Below:
Clifford C. Kuhn, MD, the Laugh Doctor, is a physician, medical school professor, comedian, professional speaker and personal consultant who helps individuals and groups enhance performance, productivity and health by creating and sustaining more fun. He offers uplifting keynotes and after-dinner presentations, as well as full and partial day seminars and workshops, which teach audiences as diverse as corporate executives, physicians and chronically ill patients how to rediscover their natural humor resources.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cliff graduated from Ursinus College and Jefferson Medical College, before receiving his psychiatric training at the University of Michigan. He has held his current medical school faculty position since 1974 and has through the years served as Chief of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Director of Residency Training and Associate Chairman of the Psychiatry Department. He is the recipient of many awards and accolades for his accomplishments as an academician and teacher.
Dr. Kuhn's clinical focus is in the field of mind/body medicine. Decades of work with chronically ill patients and their families taught him to appreciate the healing power of humor. His laughter research led him into the world of comedy performance and, in 1991, Cliff took a leave from his university position to perform in comedy clubs across the country. On this sabbatical tour, he learned first-hand what makes us laugh, and determined how those mechanisms could be transferred to clinical settings
As a physician/comedian, Dr. Kuhn has attracted national attention in radio and television, with appearances on Entertainment Tonight, WGN-Chicago, CBS Overnight, The Learning Channel, The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and CNN, and in the popular press such as Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Reader's Digest, Lear's Connection, The New Yorker and The AARP Bulletin. He has been recognized and lauded by his peers in publications such as Psychiatric News, Psychiatric Times, Hippocrates, Clinical Psychiatric News, The Journal of Nursing Jocularity, Humor and Health Journal and The Journal of Cancer Education.
In 1995, The Laugh Doctor formed a collaboration with famed comedian Jerry Lewis. Together they have since presented "The Jerry Lewis Laughter and Healing Seminar with Dr. Clifford Kuhn" at dozens of medical schools and universities across the nation. Dr. Kuhn is also a professional member of the National Speakers Association, whose Kentucky Chapter selected him Member of the Year for 1999. In 2000, he was honored by his alma mater, Ursinus College, as Alumnus of the Year.