Laughter is the Best Medicine

Often people think PT stands for pain and torture versus physical therapy, but we try to change that mindset here at Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy. We strive to provide a warm, friendly atmosphere to help everyone cope with the aches and pains that have brought them to physical therapy. We want Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy to be somewhere that patients want to come to versus have to come to get better.

Former Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy patients describe a unique atmosphere within our clinics. Many find it surprisingly fun and enjoyable to come to their physical therapy appointments. We even have some lingerers who are sad to graduate from physical therapy because they love coming in to see us. Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy’s graduating patients are happy to learn that they are welcome back any time to use the gym, stop by to say hello, or set up free consults with their favorite therapists. We enjoy celebrating the victory of recovery and graduation of our patients from physical therapy, but we are saddened by saying farewell to our new friends.

We totally get that physical therapy can be hard work full of aches, pains, sweat, and tears. It is not always fun to be a patient even though clinicians are almost always having fun and secretly enjoy inflicting the pain & torture (Disclaimer: We promise that the pain and torture is for your own good and not our enjoyment). Therefore, we strive to provide you with more smiles and laughter during your physical therapy sessions.
Laughter definitely brings fun to physical therapy visits, but did you know that it can actually improve your health? There are physical, mental, and social health benefits to laughing. A good laugh can help alleviate pain, boost your immune system, improve mood, and fight against stress & it’s many effects. Therefore, laughter is a good tool for any physical therapist to have in their toolbox and can be used to manage pain and help to heal injuries, and the stress they can bring.

According to HealthGuide.org, these are some of the physical health benefits of laughter:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
  • Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.”

An additional benefit of laughter at Hulst Jepsen Physical Thearpy is that it allows patients to build relationships and comradery with the Hulst Jepsen team and fellow patients. You can almost sense a support group atmosphere with patients sharing their experiences of “pain and torture” during physical therapy. At Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy, we see veteran patients cheering on the newer patients and reminding them it will get better with time. If you listen real close, you can even hear the veteran patients telling the newer patients that their physical therapist is the best and the pain & torture “feels good” and is worth it. (Disclaimer: we have never paid a patient to say these things to another patient).

The pains and injuries that bring you to physical therapy can be serious and we want to handle them appropriately and in a serious manner. However, that does not mean we need to be serious all the time. We will talk about your physical therapy experience and progression through recovery in a serious manner, but that is definitely not our only focus. We want to hear about your weekend fun, adventures with your family and friends, your favorite sports team and band, or your favorite food (secret: physical therapists always love food). We want to learn about you and what makes you smile and laugh.

One last thing: Please pardon our quirkiness and silliness during your visits. We encourage you to laugh at us… or even better with us. Laughter is contagious! Even though the pain or injury you are going through is not fun, let’s all try to make the most of it and share a little fun and laughter in the journey. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

If you are looking for a fun experience for your future physical therapy in a warm, friendly environment, then be sure to contact and visit one of our offices for a free consultation to get your own sense of the “something different” atmosphere.

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Nancy Ryan