Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Humor Therapy

Humor Therapy

Treatment Overview

Humor therapy (sometimes called therapeutic humor) uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing. Humor therapy helps you find ways to make yourself (or others) smile and laugh more. When you think of humor therapy, picture clowns in the children's ward of a hospital cheering up sick children. Some hospitals now have humor carts that provide funny materials for people of any age. Many nurses have learned the value of providing a good laugh to those they care for.

Scientists have been researching the relation between the mind and the body, especially in connection with the body's ability to heal (a field called psychoneuroimmunology). Laughter appears to change brain chemistry and may boost the immune system.

Humor may allow a person to feel in control of a situation and make it seem more manageable. It allows people to release fears, anger, and stress, all of which can harm the body over time. Humor improves the quality of life.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

People commonly use humor therapy in the treatment of long-term (chronic) diseases, especially those that are made worse by stress (such as heart disease and asthma). Anyone can use humor therapy, either preventively or as part of treatment for any disease.

Chronic diseases have a negative effect on mood and attitude, which can make the disease worse. Humor therapy helps reduce the negative effects of feeling unhealthy, out of control, afraid, or helpless, which are common problems for those with cancer or chronic diseases.

Humor therapy is also valuable as a preventive measure for the caregivers of people with chronic diseases. Caregivers are at high risk of becoming sick themselves, and humor therapy can help release the stress that comes from being a caregiver. Caregivers and those they care for can practice humor therapy together, and they both are likely to have better health as a result.

Risks

Risks

Humor therapy is completely safe. Your doctor is likely to approve of any efforts you make to use humor therapy, even if he or she is not aware of specific medical benefits that may result. Because it is inexpensive, risk-free, and readily available, there is little reason not to try practicing humor therapy.

Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Ways To Reduce Stress Complementary Medicine Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder Cancer: Controlling Cancer Pain Binge Eating Disorder Bulimia Nervosa

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details