August 21, 2013

I read a story once about a real account of a man from New York who traveled to study with Shamans near the Amazon river.  He tells a story of how he and his companions were canoeing down the river and the canoe unavoidably ran one of the men into a bee hive that was on a low hanging branch.  The man was instantly covered with huge bees and stings in seconds and the man’s life was in danger. 

The other men in the boat started laughing and the New Yorker was horrified by their actions.  A man’s life was in danger and all they could do was laugh.  They were suppose to be great healers.  As they laughed, the man that was the victim of the stings slowly began to laugh as well.  They returned back to their home and treated the man properly and he survived.

After the ordeal, the man from New York asked the Shaman, how could you laugh at what had happened to him.  The men answered by saying, they had no medicine on the boat, the man could have died.  All they could do was get him to relax his body so that the poison did not spread and the best way to do this was through laughter.  They kept him from panicking which would have spread the poison faster through his body, killing him before they returned home.  Laughter is very contagious, even in the most stressful circumstances, so they laughed and laughed hard and their laughter was caught by the man in danger and his body became an ally not an enemy in fighting the poison.

What a powerful lesson.  Great healers who have cured people for centuries without the convenience of modern medicine or technology.  They save a man’s life with the medicine of laughter.

In honor of the Shaman’s, for my personal journey, today I will let laughter be my medicine for better health.  Suddenly, the movie “Bridesmaids” feels to be the best medicine I can take today for myself.  If you don’t laugh when they are trying on wedding dresses, you might be dead already.

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