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Why Do We Laugh?

No Laughing Matter

Laughing-Impaired Can Get Help continued...

The contagious quality inherent in laughter -- that's what helps bolster them, he says.

"Laughing makes people laugh," Wischerth tells WebMD. "I find that we really have lot of laughs just frozen inside our chest, just dying to get out. I give people permission to laugh out loud, be silly, get rid of stress. They discover for themselves how to take life a little less seriously. People feel like they're constantly under barrage. Why not joke about it?"

Even "forced laughter" gets people to crack up, says Kim McIntyre, another Laughter Club leader at the Getting Well Campus in Orlando. As part of a mind/body/wellness program, McIntyre's efforts stimulate the inner child that too often gets lost as we age.

"Ninety percent of the time, when we start out with forced laughter, people start laughing," she tells WebMD. "Pretty soon, there's an overwhelming amount of genuine laughter. Your ear hears it and you start laughing."

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