Humor from ancient China to the twentieth century Uruguay

Zen story, The World of Laughter

“The teacher was in a communicative mood, so his disciples tried to make them know the stages that had happened in their quest for divinity. First, he said, God led me by the hand to the Land of Action, where I remained for a number of years. Then he returned and led me to the Land of Woe, and lived there until my heart was purified of all disorderly condition. That was when I was in the Land of Love, whose fiery flames consumed all that remained in my selfishness.

Whereupon, I agreed to the Land of Silence, which were unveiled before my astonished eyes the mysteries of life and death.

– And this was the final stage of your search? they asked.

– Did not answer, Master, … One day God said: Today I will take you to the most hidden sanctuary of the Temple, the heart of God himself …

And I was led to the Land of Laughter. ”

Unknown author

More than 4,000 years ago in ancient Chinese Empire, there were few temples where people gathered to laugh in order to balance health. India did not lag behind because there was also practiced Risoterapia since time immemorial.

In ancient cultures of tribal type, there was the figure of the “clown doctor” or “sacred clown” who was a sorcerer dress and makeup that ran the therapeutic power of laughter to heal the sick warriors.

In Japan one of the most revered mystics, was Hotei, called the Laughing Buddha when he attained enlightenment, all he did was laugh, plain, open and immediately contagious deeply than others. When someone had any questions, his only response was laughter. He never uttered no words, only only laughed; however everyone wanted to be with him because his message was only inner joy expressed through laughter.

Aristotle, thousands of years ago, described laughter as a “valuable exercise for health”. Meanwhile, Martial, Spanish-Roman poet of the first century said: “Laughing is wise.” And because of this, the courts and the role royals Medieval Jester was institutionalized, encouraging laughter to have a more enjoyable lives, in what could almost be considered as Laughter Therapy sessions. In

North American Hopi and Zuni existed peoples which had ceremonial clowns. Meanwhile in Africa, until now there itinerant storytellers whose principle alleviate the suffering of his contemporaries with jeers and jokes of all kinds.

Islam is no slouch, Mohammed in the Koran mentions “He who makes his companions laugh deserves Paradise” .In India is considered to laughter as a method of meditation, because it helps to externalize feelings. In the same country, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) at its center Poona, promoted meditation mystic rose consisting of nine days of three hours of laughter. There is also a Hindu belief that ensures that an hour of laughter has more beneficial effects on the body than four hours of yoga, because it can be found sacred temples where you can practice laughter.

Also try the power of humor is Judaism, a village full of joy, dances and songs despite its long history of suffering, many of them originating in the Hasidim, religious teachers who defended the sacredness of joy. Judaism has made a valuable contribution to universal humor, with figures as prominent as Charles Chaplin, Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, Ephraim Kishon, Larry David (co-creator of the television series Seinfeld writer), Mark Mundstock (musician-humorist Les Luthiers group) and many others.

In Europe, there is evidence that in the Middle Ages had doctors’ prescribing laughter “their patients. The famous French surgeon Henri de Mondeville, in the fourteenth century, said “the surgeon must deal with regulating the whole system of life of the patient so that it is directed to joy and happiness,” and his compatriot and colleague François Rabelais in the sixteenth century, he said: “laughter is proper to man”. So he became the pioneer in recommending laughter as foolproof method to relieve determinadossufrimientos, and she was getting sick heal faster.

In more recent times, 100 years ago, Sigmund Freud attributed to the laughter the power to rid the body of negative energy, which could be proven later scientifically, finding that the cerebral cortex releases negative electrical impulses one second after starting to laugh . In the last 30 years it has made considerable progress in the implementation of laughter as therapy.

The final of the popularity of the Risoterapia push came in the 70`s, thanks to Norman Cousins, American editor and journalist, who suffered severe pain unsolvable, and whom his doctors advised him laugh, specifically with ribbons and Gordo Flaco, once proven that laughter really made him disappear the pain for hours, he decided to publish his experience and made known to the medical community in 1976 through the New England journal of Medicine, and later in a book, and through its own foundation.

Subsequently, another name in the history of the Laughter Therapy is Hunter “Patch” Adams in the 80s, he applied the joy and good humor as support in the recovery and treatment of diseases, obtaining beneficial results. Thereafter he began using the technique of laughter therapy in hospitals.

Humor is next to the art, one of the axes of SaludArte, a Uruguayan organization nonprofit that promotes health for 15 years, promoting human development, spontaneity, creativity and participation in seeking alternatives personal, interpersonal and social problems. SaludArte is based on the idea that humor involves a change in perspective and helps dramatize the problems, which is essential for physical and mental health. In these 15 years the practices of health promotion and prevention have been revalued in Public Health Policy and SaludArte Foundation has become a benchmark of this approach, highlighted by its innovative capacity.