The Memory, the Magic, the Mystery / The Healing Power of Laughter / Sept. 4: Classes resume

                 Endless in its Beauty

At every crossroad
we have a choice.
We travel in one
direction
or another,
never knowing
we are all lost
in the vast void
of timeless space.

Timeless
in the moment,
without form
in the now
to be,
and truly ageless
in our search for Love,
our Love for Life,
and for one another.

“The end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place
for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot
.

And then one day
we come to see
God,
in His Love
for all there ever was,
and all there is
to ever be.

We each live
for but a moment,
just one brief moment,
the moment
when we realize
the Heart of God
beats within
every lonely
Life
in search of Love,
and longing
to be.

       Dog-leaping Happiness                        (Our precious Lila, shortly before she departed us in this Life)

In the Sacred Time
of that moment
lives the memory,
the magic,
the Mystery
of Life
and Living.

“I am almost a hundred years old;
waiting for the end,
and thinking about the beginning.

Meg Rosoff

Meg Rosoff

There are things I need to tell you,
but would you listen if I told you
how quickly time passes?

I know you are unable to imagine this.

Nevertheless,
I can tell you that you will awake someday
to find that your life
has rushed by at a speed
at once impossible and cruel.

The most intense moments
will seem to have occurred only yesterday
and nothing
will have erased the pain and pleasure,

the impossible intensity of Love
and its dog-leaping Happiness,
the bleak blackness of passions unrequited,
or unexpressed, or unresolved.”
Meg Rosoff

                  Endless in its Beauty.

My Dear Friends,
the Love of God
will never let you go.
In His Arms
you can never
be alone.

His Love
bears the Torch
to Light the Way.
It restores
all Life
to another day.

Do not let
your thoughts
close the door
to your precious Heart,
for only it may see
the Rainbow
through a rain of tears
that promises
not in vain,
to return God’s Love
again and again.

                           Endless . . .

From the Sacred ground
blossoms all Life,
endless in its Beauty,
now
and to be.

In Nature,
the end
is the beginning.
And so it is
with us.
With our Mother
Earth,
and God as our
Father,
in mind and in memory,
and in all things that matter,
every moment is
resurrected,
and Life and Love
go on.

In God’s Love
there is no
loss,
only what is
found.

And,
there is rest
for the weary
Soul.

poet Cecelia Weir

Cecelia Weir

“There is Rest For The Weary,
True rest for the Soul.
Troubles, trials and tribulations.
Yes, the agony of time
As Eternity rolls.

Faith is the key.
Prayer is the answer.
And God got it all in control.
If you’ll just go to Him,
And talk as you stroll along,
The relief will begin to surface
And you Heart will be made strong.

Be encouraged in this Life
For there can be Happiness
Right here on Earth.
Despite its pain,
Its misery and its strife.
The good Lord loves you
He sees, He knows, and He cares.
If we but only trust Him

For He is Love..
And He is Light….
He’ll be your Light.
He’ll be your Guide.
For He’s always there
Right by your side.
Live in your Soulful rest.
That the Heartfelt ease
Will give you Life at its best.
Rest, rest, in the Lord.
For He is..
Rest
For The Weary.”
– Cecelia Weir

                     The Sun restores Life.

As our Lives
return a borrowed day,
let us Pray.
The Sun restores Life
in its ray,
and keeps God’s promise
of another new day.

“There is an ecstasy
that marks the summit of life,
and beyond which Life cannot rise.
And such is the paradox of living,
this ecstasy comes when one is most alive,
and it comes as a complete forgetfulness
that one is alive.
This out of all will remain.

They have lived and have tossed:
So much of the game will be gain,
Though the gold of the dice
has been lost.”
– Jack London (Love of Life)
.
The crystal mirror
of our memory,
sometimes with painful longing,
sometimes with delight,
invites us to return,
to never leave again
the Beauty of Love
lost along the way,
never fully knowing
that this moment,
and the last,
are one.

Goodnight.

Laughter Therapy
click here to read more

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
E. E. Cummings

What is laughter therapy?

We were born with the gift of laughter. Laughter is a natural medicine. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. Laughter is a contagious emotion. It can bring people together. It can help us feel more alive and empowered.

Laughter therapy, also called humor therapy, is the use of humor to promote overall health and wellness. It aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort.

Research supporting laughter therapy

A growing body of research supports the theory that laughter may have therapeutic value.

For years, the use of humor has been used in medicine. Surgeons used humor to distract patients from pain as early as the 13th century. Later, in the 20th century, came the scientific study of the effect of humor on physical wellness. Many credit this to Norman Cousins. After years of prolonged pain from a serious illness, Cousins claims to have cured himself with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins. In his 1979 book Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins describes how watching comedic movies helped him recover.

Over the years, researchers have conducted studies to explore the impact of laughter on health. After evaluating participants before and after a humorous event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter helped to reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune system in participants.

Today more than ever before, people are turning to humor for therapy and healing. Medical journals have acknowledged that laughter therapy can help improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Many hospitals now offer laughter therapy programs as a complementary treatment to illness.

The Healing Power of Laughter

For people living with cancer, it may seem strange to find humor when facing such serious issues. Yet, laughter may be helpful in ways you may not have realized or imagined.

Laughter may help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. Laughter may be a natural diversion. When you laugh, no other thought comes to mind. Laughing may also induce physical changes in the body. After laughing for only a few minutes, you may feel better for hours.

When used in addition to conventional cancer treatments, laughter therapy may help in the overall healing process.

According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to:

  • Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Ease digestion/soothe stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help to:

  • Improve overall attitude
  • Reduce stress/tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Strengthen social bonds and relationships
  • Produce a general sense of well-being

Laughter therapy at CTCA

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we fight cancer using an integrative approach. Our Mind-Body Medicine Department offers supportive options, including laughter therapy, to help you cope as you receive conventional cancer treatments.

Laughter therapy strives to help you use and enjoy laughter as a tool for healing. Dr. Katherine Puckett, Chief of the Division of Mind-Body Medicine at CTCA®, first introduced laughter therapy at our Illinois hospital upon a patient’s request.

CTCA offers humor therapy sessions, also known as Laughter Clubs or humor groups, to help cancer patients and their families use and enjoy laughter as a tool for healing. These leader-led groups take patients through a number of laugh-related exercises, including fake laughter and laughter greetings.

Laughter Club is based not on humor or jokes, but rather on laughter as a physical exercise. One group laughter exercise involves patients standing in a circle, with the leader in the middle. Patients put their fingertips on their cheekbones, chest or lower abdomen and make “ha ha” or “hee hee” sounds until they feel vibrations through their bodies. Dr. Puckett says that, during these exercises, it is hard for people not to join in because laughter is so contagious.

According to Dr. Puckett, at the end of a laughter therapy session, patients have said things like “I didn’t even think about cancer during Laughter Club” and “That felt great! Things have been so hard that we hadn’t laughed in months.” Dr. Puckett adds that the 8-year-old daughter of a CTCA patient who attended Laughter Club said afterwards: “I never thought about laughing every day, but now I realize I can. Like even when I don’t feel happy, I can still laugh and feel better.”

“To enable someone to laugh
is much like
giving them
a bouquet of beautiful
Flowers.”
–  Wm. C. Anderson

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