Gelotology  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Gelotology is the study of laughing and laughter, its effects on the human body, and of medical abnormalities of laughing. It is also the psychological and physiological study of laughter. The word is from the Greek gelos, geloto meaning laugh, laughter, laughing . The word gelotology is often misspelled as gelatology.

History

Gelotology was first studied by psychiatrists, although some doctors in antiquity recommended laughter as a form of medicine. It was initially deprecated by most other physicians, who doubted that laughter possessed analgesic qualities. One early study that demonstrated the effectiveness of laughter in a clinical setting showed that laughter could help patients with atopic dermatitis respond less to allergens. Other studies have shown that laughter can help alleviate stress and pain, and can assist cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gelotology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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