Some of the best Medicine is Free

A type of medicine that has been used since the beginning of life, is making quite a comeback.  This medicine is known to relieve physical and emotional stress or discomfort, distract patient’s pain and promote overall health and wellness.  Medical journals have acknowledged the powerful outcome of this medicine and many hospitals have actually implemented therapy programs, using this evolutionary method.  Various studies of this therapy have shown to produce the following results:

  • relieve pain through the stimulation of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers
  • reduce stress
  • help to boost the immune system
  • help to improve lung function
  • help to maintain normal blood pressure and improve the circulatory system
  • promote relaxation
  • sharpen mental activity
  • achieve more peaceful rest
  • enhance quality of life

What is a medicine like this worth?  Will your insurance company cover the cost?  Is it readily available in your area?  Is there a generic brand available?  An antidote this capable of producing such benefits must be extremely expensive.


The great news is that this drug is readily available, in every part of the world.  Unfortunately, it is not covered by any age and HMO.  The cost is surely a fraction of what you would imagine.  Matter of fact, it is attainable by all, despite your economic status.  This amazing antidote is the gift of Laughter!  Laughter is something that we are all born with.  From the time that we are infants, we laughed and giggle in amusement.  It is a natural instinct to show cheerfulness.  Laughter is an uplifting emotion and is very contagious.  It can be passed on to virtually anybody.  The use of this natural psychological process has been used to alleviate physical and emotional discomfort.  More and more, people are turning to humor or laughter therapy for relief.


One of the most accredited researchers in the field of humor, as a healing agent; is Norman Cousins.  Cousins was diagnosed with a deteriorating connective tissue in the spine, a condition known as Ankylosoing Spondylitis, in 1964.  The doctors gave Cousins a very slight chance of survival.  Mr. Cousins made a decision to play a pivotal role in his own recovery attempt.  His decision was controversial to medical theory, and even though he encountered opposition from his doctors, they finally conceded to his decision.  Cousins’ decision was actually a three-step process; the first part involved extensive research on his condition.  He discovered that his condition depleted his body of vitamin C, and after much arguing, he convinces the doctor to inject him with large doses of vitamin C.  The second part of the process was to check himself out of the hospital, where he was being treated and check into a hotel room.  He stated,” a hospital is no place for a person who is seriously ill”.  He believed that hospitals overmedicated their patients, had unhealthy hygiene practices, was disruptive to the patient’s sleep and posses a general feeling of negativity.  The third part of the process was to obtain a movie projector and several reels of funny films, such as tapes from Candid Camera and several works from the Marx Brothers.  The objective was to laugh as much as possible to stimulate the chemicals in his body to the point that he would be free of pain and be able to sleep.  The pain would subside and eventually return, but he was able to get the well deserved rest to help his body recover.  Cousins’ had his blood drawn, frequently, to measure the blood sedimentation rate, which measured the rate of inflammation and infection in the blood.  After watching the films, the levels would drop by approximately 5 points.  Within a couple of weeks of this therapy, Cousins return to his job, as an editor in the local paper.  Later on, in an interview, he described that he felt he was in a euphoric state during the treatment, which help him to return to his normal lifestyle.


It could be argued that Cousins’ optimistic attitude was a factor in his miraculous recovery and not due to his laughter therapy.  The reverse can be said about the anger and frustration felt in the hospital, as being negative and impeding on his recovery. Regardless, for Cousins it was a clear sign that his health improved due to his agenda of self made wellness program. On March 10th, 2011, in the U.K. Mail Online, an article titled “Laughter IS the best cure: It promotes healing by speeding up blood flow, researchers find” show how a 5 year study on patients with leg ulcers, showed positive results. The report by theUniversity ofLeeds’School ofHealthcare shows that laughter stimulated the diaphragm, which played a vital part in moving the blood through the body.  This actually helped the recovery from the leg ulcers.  The report also showed that traditional nursing care involved with this laughter therapy, often lead to jokes and banter with the patients and staff.  I have the sneaking suspicion that laughter also made for a better work environment among nursing staff.


The Cancer Treatment Centers ofAmericahave combined laughter therapy along with conventional medicine to assist their patients, in the recovery process. CTCA uses laughter clubs or humor groups for the patients and their families, as a healing tool.  Laughter is used as a physical exercise and a mental diversion from their condition.  It is not uncommon to hear the patients say things like “I didn’t even think about the cancer during the laughter group” and “that felt great!”


From my own personal experience, I can attest that laughter has always been helpful in distracting me from my own medical condition.  During my first 40 days in the hospital, I had to use humor as a tool to distract myself from the extended stay.  I would often engage in humorous dialogue with the nurses and other medical staff.  I was also blessed in having many friends and family who also tried to lift my spirits.  I have always been known as the guy that can make people laugh and brighten up a room.  In one particular situation, I was accused of causing a dear friend of mine, who was pregnant, of laughing so hard, that her appendix busted.  Her husband and her sister invited me over to their home to play a game of Pictionary.  If you have never played this game, just know that it causes uncontrollable laughter.  We had so much fun and after I had left, she started feeling a sharp pain in her side.  After going to the emergency room she was diagnosed with appendicitis, and had her appendix removed. Knowing her like I do, she is probably laughing as she reads this, right now. In my own defense, let me explain, that this was the same friend who laughed uncontrollably in college, after a comment that I made under my breath and had us both thrown out, for disrupting the class.  Despite everything, it is nearly 20 years and we still laugh about the incident.


When I was a police officer, inNew York City, I had the great privilege of teaming up with one of the funniest guys that I have ever met.  It was one of the best things that could have happened, especially when you are working eight hours a day, responding to people’s problems and victims of crime.  In a job like that, it is almost a necessity to have a sense of humor, in order to relieve the stress of the occupation.  This made the job a lot more acceptable and even enjoyable.  Today, we get together and we share a lot of new laughs and reminisce about the old ones, too.  There were a lot of bad experiences that were brutal and heartless, but it is the good times that stand out the most.  It is all part of focusing on the good and leaving the bad behind.  The next time you are having a bad day, think about this and focus on having a good hearty laugh and you will see that it really helps.


As we have seen in these examples, laughter plays a role in promoting prominence in health and wellness.  It is something that could be spontaneous and contagious and almost done at any time.  Life presents enough obstacles during our existence; it is to our benefit to have as many laughs as we possibly can.  The next time you have the opportunity to make someone laugh or exhibit your humorous side, take full advantage.  It is one of the greatest remedies that you can administer to anyone, and even though it is free, it could be priceless to some.

6 Responses to Some of the best Medicine is Free

  • Evelyn says:

    How true your words are. In these economic times this is the best medicine, it FREE!!!! Laughter does increase the amount of oxygen brought into the body, an we all know the human body needs oxygen lots of it to cleans out the impurities. Your whole body receives excersize through laughter, all your face muscles, abdominals, lower back, arms… receive movement in turn the feel good and healing process begins. Plus with a bit of laughter spreading all over at one time how much healthier and happier this world would be. So let the laughing begin.

  • Terri Kelleher says:

    This is very true Sal!!! If you can laugh with those you love during the hard times, just imagine how much fun you will have in the good times 😉

  • Gail Brafford says:

    So very true and so many times we miss out on it. Lets just keep laughing and enjoying life to its fullest.

  • Philip Lo Presti says:

    Herman, so true! And amazing too. Wonderfully said.
    You are the best, and we laughed a lot when we hung out!

    • Gsal says:

      Thanks Guys for all the replies. We have all shared good moments and those not so good, but it is the laughs that we shared that always bring a smile and happiness to my heart. The best is yet to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

German (Sal) & Milja Saldarriaga
Fort Mill, SC

I am available for lectures, consulting, life coaching, motivational speaking, interviews and appearances.

Follow Me On

Get Email Updates

My Life Experience

  • Retired New York City police officer
  • coping with heart disease since 1996
  • had defibrillator/pacemaker implanted in Oct 2003
  • had Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted in September 2009
  • Received heart transplant September 2010.
Read more at About Page