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Seriously Funny Medicine

Dr Peter Spitzer our co-founder has written about Humour in Health and the unique work of the Clown Doctors.

The Humour Foundation's very own Dr Peter Spitzer co-authored a fabulous read, titled Smiles are Everywhere: Integrating Clown-Play into Healthcare Practice. This book is a practical handbook aimed at healthcare professionals and those who wish to bring play and humour into their work!

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Clowns and their humour have entertained human beings for centuries. As yet, the literature fails to demonstrate significant research evidence based on the efficacy of clown humour as a therapy within children's hospitals/units. Despite this, many health professionals, with an interest in both the psychological and physical aspects of a patient's well-being, are showing an increased interest in the use of clown humour within health-care settings.

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A chuckle may help the body process blood sugar, according to research from Japan. A study of type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – found that laughter was linked to lower blood sugar levels after a meal.

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It is recognised that stress weakens the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness. But now research is showing that individuals with a better sense of humour have stronger immune systems and how important it is to make the effort to improve your sense of humour. The best evidence that humour boosts the immune system comes from studies where immune system measures are taken before and after a particular humorous event – usually a comedy video.

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Laughter, along with an active sense of humour, can help protect against heart attacks. We know that looking after our heart involves diet, exercise, freedom from smoking and reduced stress.

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