The beauty of using humor and keeping a sense of lightness and playfulness in our life is that it helps us deal with life as it is -- the ups and downs, the unexpected changes, and the frustrations we may encounter.
It feels good to laugh once in a while. Everyone knows that. But laughter as a health-promoting exercise is not as widely practiced, despite the fact that scientists have long known about the potential healing effects of good humor.
This year made me realize that I've accumulated a whole arsenal of wonderfully powerful tools and techniques that can help me through difficult times if I choose to use them. Things like prayer and faith, meditation and yoga, music, vitamins, love, persistence, honesty, communication, and trust.
Physical therapist Joe Gallagher's patient, a former New York Giants football player now in his 80s, was lying on the floor, stretching to regain flexibility after two total knee replacements. Progress was slow and painful, so Joe went to a reliable resource in his PT toolbox: humor.