Several years ago I wrote a Thanksgiving themed column about the positive impact laughter can have on one's health.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving 2011 I wish to share with you a letter I received from a reader who laughed her way back to good health and is reaching out to others.
Dear Dr. Levister: My name is Rose L. I had been in poor health for years due to alcoholism. Seven years ago while eating Thanksgiving dinner with my family we were asked to share a blessing. My older brother a recovering alcoholic gave me a copy of "Thanksgiving Rx" a column you wrote on the positive impact of laughter.
I read the first paragraph and promptly put it away to gather dust. Years later while in a drunken stupor I rediscovered it and began laughing as you urged your readers to count their blessings of health:
"Don't exercise; Eat all the fat and sugar you can get your hands on; Smoke till your hearts content; no need to practice safe sex and by all means drink all the alcohol you can stand. Twenty years later you're guaranteed to enjoy the benefits of poor health."
Your advice was in a strange way very funny since I was guilty of everything you prescribed. I called my brother and for the first time we shared our personal and often tragic stories of being alcoholics. We both howled, cried and agreed that laughter is good medicine.
This Thanksgiving I am pleased to say I've been sober for 4 years and enjoying good health. My brother and I are still laughing, blessed and eternally grateful for your Thanksgiving Rx!
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