Ho-Ho-Holistic Medicine

Three hundred thirty-seven days - and coming closer every second.

If the count-down to the millennium has stepped up your self-improvement clock, you're in the right place at the right time. Chesapeake Country overfloweth with opportunities to make a new you - or at least improve the old one.

Take a page from our "Good Bay Times" and you'll see what we mean:

And that's just two weeks of what's on tap in the way of holistic self-improvement.

But Chesapeake Country is still waiting for our favorite holistic therapy: laugh therapy.

Go ahead and laugh, we're serious - and so are our sources. In Proverbs, the Bible tells us "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." In modern times, from Patch Adams (our reviewer gives it a B+) to clinical trials conducted by scrupulous medical researchers, laughter rates high therapeutic scores.

If you're suffering, laughter may relieve your pain. Witness the testimony of former Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins, whose 1979 first-person account The Anatomy of an Illness lowered America's resistance to alternative healing: "I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep." Cousins' laugh therapy was watching movies by the Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy.

(Here at New Bay Times, we've been feeling no pain since we started work on the comedy section of this week's lead story.)

If, on the other hand, you're simply not the best you hope you can be, laughter can energize your better self. Laughing releases endorphins, the cellular peptides that encourage well-being and discourage pain. As well as stimulating a natural high, laughter lets you release anger and gives you welcome, if temporary, respite from reality.

On both those scores, we've heard laughter described as ho-ho-holistic medicine.

So what we'd like to see upcoming in Chesapeake Country's calendar of Good Bay Times is group therapy in laughing, along these lines. In case showing up for such an enterprise doesn't start you laughing, the therapist takes over, introducing a series of laughs: the giggle, the outbreak, the belly laugh, the guffaw. Naturally, you can't help joining in, and soon the laughing becomes spontaneous, proving that wellness - as well as disease - can be catching.

Meanwhile, we're taking a dose of our own medicine.

| Issue 4 |

VolumeVII Number 4
January 28 - February 3, 1999
New Bay Times
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