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Cousins, Norman - Pain and healing laughter



Type of Spiritual Experience


Norman Cousins suffered from arthritis and heart problems and developed a recovery program incorporating huge doses of Vitamin C, along with hope, a positive attitude, and laughter induced by Marx Brothers films.

Cousins died of heart failure on November 30, 1990, having survived years longer than his doctors predicted: 10 years after his first heart attack, 16 years after his collagen illness, and 36 years after his doctors first diagnosed his heart disease

A description of the experience

"I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep. When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval."

The source of the experience

Cousins, Norman

Concepts, symbols and science items


Pain [physical]


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps