Pain Relief from Kindness and Laughter



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Have you ever suffered from searing pain that…

  • drained the blood from your body and almost made you pass out?
  • kept you up all night?
  • made you feel depressed, hopeless, and scared that it will never get better?

It was exactly this time of the year last year that I was living in this nightmare. A year ago, I couldn’t walk without being in excruciating pain. Simple activities such as sitting, standing, and sleeping made me anxious and worried from the unexpected shooting pain. Both unfortunately and fortunately this painful episode lasted for about one month. While it was unfortunate that I experienced intense pain, it was fortunate that I saw a glimpse of what life was like for people living with chronic pain and importantly able to see firsthand the healing power of two unlikely techniques— an act of kindness and an act of laughter.

Dismal with Disability

What led to my temporary disability is still unknown to me.  I was in great shape last year! I had a personal trainer and worked hard at keeping my weight within a reasonable range. I felt good about myself, I had great energy, and I enjoyed seeing my favorite clothes falling nicely in areas that they were supposed to. To this day, I cannot pinpoint the very moment when it started. Over and over I asked myself.

Was it working out too hard and not stretching long enough?

Was it the way I slept?

Was it my new high heels I wore to match my holiday dress?

 Who knows? All I know was I was in pain and I felt miserable!

The Pain

I always took pride in having a high tolerance for pain but this one was nothing like I’ve ever experienced. I thought I knew what pain was. I’ve had plantar fasciitis on both feet as I worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse. I’ve had shooting sciatica pain from my pregnancies that would have me gripping the furniture or walls around me so I didn’t fall down. Lastly, I endured natural deliveries twice because my childbirth labor always came fast. But this holiday pain felt like a perfect storm of angry sciatica pain, tight hamstring muscles and back pain. The jolt of spasm would catch me so unexpectedly that I would gasp with pain and feel cold, sweaty, and pale from a head rush of blood, making me feel as though I was going to pass out.

Natural Cures

Although I am a nurse, I always went for natural cures before going to the doctors. Years of learning over a dozen proven Complementary Alternative Medicine techniques and Positive Psychology provided me with an array of modalities and techniques to try. I tried everything I had in my natural tool-box such as: Reiki, hot and cold compresses, muscle rubs, homeopathy, and magnets. I went for weekly chiropractic adjustments and deep tissue massages. Little by little I started to feel better but my recovery didn’t start to sky rocket until I did something different. That something different was doing something for someone else. I found that doing something good for someone else help me stop ruminating on my self-pity and suffering. It helped me think of someone else who I cared about and this made me feel better and better.

Doing Good to Feel Good

One day during my one of my more painful afternoons, I decided to do something to get my mind off my pain. I decided to contact an old friend, who had been going through a divorce. Because we had not been in contact for awhile I wasn’t sure how he was doing. When I did reach him, I told him that I was going to give him a special present that I called “7 Days of Cheer.” I explained to him that I was going to send him one pun per day for a week. Knowing that he was very busy, sending him daily puns was a great way for him to know I was thinking him and wishing him well. He agreed to play along and I started. Every day, I looked for puns that I loved; ones that made me laugh so hard that I couldn’t wait but send to him. The puns were silly but hilarious.

Happy Inside and Out

I loved reading the puns during the day because they made me feel happy inside and out. This new found idea was exciting and made me feel good. Each day I looked forward to finding just the perfect pun to send him. The more I sent him, the more I noticed I felt better and better. I noticed something profound that I had been teaching all along in my stress management and wellness workshops for busy professionals.  I noticed that doing kind deeds for someone else does boost your own happiness, decrease feelings of depression, and reduces pain levels.  Further, I noticed the very same thing with laughter as well. As a laughter yoga teacher for professionals, seniors, and cancer survivors, I knew that laughter also provides the same positive benefits. I was amazed at how laughing and doing kind deeds helped reduce my pain.


Positivity for Pain Relief

Acts of kindness and laughter, although a very unlikely pairing, provide powerful doses of positivity that are sure to help with pain relief. Our natural pain killer hormones called endorphins are secreted within our brain and nervous system when acts of kindness  are done and with deep hearty laughter. Endorphins, our bodies’ natural pain killers, are similar to morphine that is prescribed by doctors for severe pain. What seemed like a great idea to distract me from pain while cheering up a good friend, quickly became a main source of pain relief. It was as if my inner physician knew what I needed to help me feel better, and I am grateful that I listened to her. It was no surprised that his 7-day gift became a 14-day gift. Not only did my friend enjoy my gift, I was able to experience the pain relief that both kindness and laughter had to offer. It was a holiday that I will always remember.

More on Kindness and Laughter

Both acts of kindness and laughter have much in common. They are known to:

  • decrease pain
  • boost levels of happiness
  • decrease levels of anxiety
  • lead to faster healing

Gifting the “7 Days of Cheer”

Are you or someone you know suffering from any sort of physical, mental, or emotional pain?

Would you like to try something that doesn’t cost anything except your time and energy to feel better?

Are you interested in applying simple techniques that can make you feel better whether or not you are suffering from pain?

I invite you to try the “7 Days of Cheer” with anyone of your family or friends. It’s a fun and unique way to feel good as you do something good for someone. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s how you can start.

  1. Pick a family member or friend that you want to give a special gift to.
  2. Contact that person and let him or her know about what you want to do.
  3. Decide on the length of time you want to do it.
  4. Use the internet for funny images, quotes, or video clips.
  5. Begin.
  6. Notice how you feel.
  7. Repeat as necessary.
  8. Have fun.

Next time you feel miserable from physical, mental, or emotional pain try taking care of it by doing something positive for someone else. It will help you to put a stop to focusing on what feels bad and instead direct you towards what feels good. Remember that your body has the capacity to help you feel better by releasing natural feel-good hormones.

Got other natural and proven ways to reduce pain? Please comment below and share it with us.

Effective Cold & Flu Home Remedies

Did you know that according to statistics the average person will catch anywhere between two to four colds this winter?

It’s that time again here in the New England where the Fall foliage is peaking and the temperatures are dropping. While I do love this time of the year, because of the picturesque Fall foliage and the smell of wood burning, it does make me want to prepare myself and my family for the winter associated ailments like the cold and flu.

One of the best reassuring statements that I heard my son’s pediatrician say to me the other day when I brought my 9 year old son in to be evaluated for his chest congestion and questionable wheezing was:

“No, his lungs are clear and he doesn’t need any medications. Keep on doing what you are doing because it obviously is working.”

After I told him of the natural cures and homeopathic remedies that I was giving to my son, he said confidently to keep it up. I did reassure him that I know about homeopathic remedies because I studied it for 5 years and graduated in from the Teleosis School of Homeopathy in Cambridge, MA.

For the sake of today’s topic, I will focus more on my most popular “go-to” natural cures that I use once I suspect a change in my health or my family’s. Next month, I will talk about homeopathy and my 3 favorite remedies that I always carry as my 1st aid remedy.

As soon as I start detecting that my body is feeling extra fatigue, my nose is getting stuffy, and I am colder than usual my mind starts running it’s very own medical evaluation. I believe that immediate response to wellness increases the body’s ability to get better sooner rather than later when the condition has worsened.

The questions I typically ask myself are:

“Am I coming down with something or am I just run down?”
“Does anyone at home or at work have these symptoms?”
“What can I do now that can help?”
“What do I have at home that can make me feel better?”

Ginger Lemon with Honey

Once I determine that I am coming down with something I go in my natural cures mode that I call, 4 D’s to Fortify.

The 4 D’s stand for: disinfect, drink, dietary, and dream.

1. “Water, air, and cleanliness are the chief articles in my pharmacopoeia.” Napoleon

Disinfect: I replace my toothbrush and disinfect my bathrooms, change all the towels, disinfect the hand rails, door knobs, kitchen eating area, replace all the kitchen towels and dish sponge. I also disinfect the electrical and computer devices such as light switches, TV remote, telephone, cell phones, and computer keys. Basically, I go on a “germ quest” and think about the most commonly touched areas of the house. I do this to cease and contain the germs from spreading to my family. If you don’t have a spare toothbrush, take your current one and soak it in salt water to allow the antiseptic qualities of the salt to cleanse the bristles of your toothbrush.

2. “True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington.” Anonymous

Drink: I get the pot of hot water going and drink ginger tea with honey. Ginger is a great warming root and helps with congestion. It’s also great for an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. Ginger helps with detoxification of the body; it helps the body sweat and release toxins. Honey on the other hand is a wonderful sweetener and has many antiseptic and soothing qualities such as being a natural cough suppressant. Honey, especially locally harvested, is great for seasonal allergies, coughs and sore throat. If you can tolerate the taste of the real thing, get a fresh ginger root from your grocery store and cut up approximately 1 inch of the root and set it to a boil on your stove. You can drink this all day and it will help loosen congestion and warm up your bones on a cold day. If you are a diabetic, please avoid using honey and use your preferred no-sugar sweetener.

3. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  Hippocrates

Dietary: Chicken soup, need I say more? But really, there is something about chicken soup that is soothing when we are feeling a little under the weather. It is both fluid for hydration and food for nourishment. It is perfect when you have little appetite from not feeling well. If you don’t have someone around to whip up a nice pot of chicken soup for you then here’s a delicious semi-home made trick to make a delicious chicken soup. Buy an already cooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store and bring to boil and simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Add chicken stock or chicken base to it to taste. Add 2 sticks of carrots cut into cubes, 1 celery stalk chopped, and 1 medium size onion chopped. Add whatever pasta or rice that you might have around then salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! Try adding some lemon with your chicken soup next time to really kick up the healing qualities and flavor of the soup. Lemon is another one of nature’s healthy foods that is loaded with Vitamin C, it is a wonderful antioxidant. If you made too much soup take the extras and freeze them.

4. “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”  Spanish Proverb

Dream: In order for our wonderful human body to recharge and replenish itself we need sleep. This is one of the most important things that we can give ourselves in order to reach optimum health. Take naps when you can during the day. Listen to your body. If you are at home and feel tired lay down and rest. This is the best time to be gentle to yourself. Trust that the time you invest in yourself will help you bounce back quicker. If you are too busy to take care of yourself your sick body will find a way to stop you and put you in bed one way or another. It is always best to do it at the start of an illness in order to allow the body to do what it needs to do for you.

I hope that you have found these natural cures helpful. I invite you to try one or two of them that you feel might be reasonable. Please note that the techniques and cures that I just mentioned are also great for when you are feeling healthy. I agree with Benjamin Franklin when he said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention is important.

If you have natural cures that have worked for you in the past please email them to me. I’ll be sure to add it to the next newsletter so others may benefit from them as well. Until then, I wish you a healthy and happy day.

Disclaimer: The above natural cures are not a replacement for your existing medical treatment. Always consult with your doctor regarding any changes to your medical care. These natural cures are not a prescription but a suggestion. For any questions regarding the effectiveness of these natural cures please perform your own educational research and bring your questions to your physician to see if they are contraindicated to your medical condition. The sole purpose of these tips is to bring awareness of the many simple and natural ways to reach optimum mind-body-spirit wellness.

If you or someone you know needs support or coaching in ways to become healthier and happier, please contact us at or visit our website to learn more about ways we can help you sustain you level of happiness.