Is Laughter The Best Medicine? It Really Is, Says Craig Shoemaker

Adiel Gorel

Why We Must Banish Fear and Invite Laughter In – A Comic Explains

Craig Shoemaker has been in showbiz for over 30 years as an award-winning comic, actor, writer, producer, and more. He is someone that most of us have watched at some point, either in the movies, on TV, or on Netflix where he has a standup special, or on YouTube. He has starred in The Lovemaster and various other popular films and shows. He not only has the power to make us laugh, but he is also convinced about the power of laughter to heal as well. Craig joined me on a recent episode of The Adiel Gorel Show where he shared personal stories, his work with laughter, and much more.

Why laughter is the best medicine.

Craig tells us the story of his best friend, film director and writer of movies such as Cool Runnings, Little Giant and others, Michael Goldberg. His friend was diagnosed with brain cancer many years ago and was given three months to live at the time. Craig suggested bolstering the medical protocol with some laughter therapy. He recalled the story of how Norman Cousins, a political journalist, and world peace advocate, had used laughter therapy to recover from a life-threatening disease. Cousins was convinced of the pain-reducing power of laughter and Craig felt that this would help his friend Michael as well.
Michael went on to live for another 15 years after his diagnosis. While there is no doubt that the medical interventions and drug protocols assisted in his survival, it could well be that the laughter helped. Craig is of the view that laughter shores up immunity, and makes the drugs and other treatment protocols more effective. It helps in releasing beneficial hormones in the body, and can also help by improving circulation and oxygenation. He is convinced that this worked for his friend Michael and for many others as well. Craig and I agree that laughter is a little like having an orgasm; many of the same mechanisms are activated in both!

Laughter is free, which is why it isn’t prescribed.

Craig has fashioned a laughter therapy program called Chuckle Chatters, where he teaches people how to laugh. It starts out with fake laughter, which always blends into real laughter, and this has many positive impacts on the body. The aim of these sessions is also to confront and disempower fears and worries that so many of us needlessly carry around with us. We tend to exaggerate our problems and make a big deal out of very little.
A lot of illness is often the physical manifestation of something that is weighing on our minds. When we laugh, this shifts us to a different state of consciousness and releases our fears. When we confront and articulate our fears, this takes away the power that those fears have on us, says Craig, which makes a lot of sense.
One of the reasons that no one seems to ‘prescribe’ laughter in spite of it being the best medicine, is because it is free! Pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers stand to make no money from people that are self-healing with laughter. This is probably why we are always encouraged to be serious about illness; laughter is the last thing on our minds at such times. So why not laugh – it can only make us feel better, and besides, it’s free! Check out my podcast with Craig Shoemaker – it will make you laugh and it will certainly make you think. 
Adiel Gorel

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