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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information

family and friends

Close and supportive family and friends can be beneficial to your physical health as they are to your emotional well-being.

Research shows a strong link between happiness, optimism, and good health and between increased well-being, and the body's potential to heal itself. Exercises in positive thinking may be beneficial, but more powerful still are positive emotions, such as hope and joy. Not surprisingly, close and supportive relationships with friends and family, and a sense of humor, can help engender positive feelings. Being able to express emotions that lie beneath the surface, through art or music, for example, also contribute to a full emotional life and a resilient outlook.


A network of friends and family may be more important than we realize: a readiness to find emotional sustenance through others is a strong element in the pattern of healing and well-being. The more isolated we are, the less healthy we are likely to be, since it can be difficult to have a rich emotional life alone. Although religious affiliation has been linked to better mental and physical health, the feeling of loving and being loved, and of being part of a supportive community, may have much to do with this, rather than faith alone. Several studies in the U.S. have shown that the support of family and friends improves the quality of survival time for patients with heart disease or breast cancer, even though some of these patients were not physically healed and eventually died. The expression of deep emotions such as anger and love was important in "healing the soul", and enabled terminally ill people to find a grace in dying.


Think of your life as a bus with every significant person from your past on board. When they start to criticize you with questions such as "Why are you so clumsy?" Ask yourself:
  • Who is the driver of the bus?
  • Who is in control?
  • Who do I want as passengers?

Taking over the driver's seat yourself could mean asking some of the passengers to get off the bus - permanently.

Get Off My Bus!

If someone is not bringing you up and making you feel good about yourself and/or is consistently bringing you down though name calling, abusive behavior, ridicule or other means... it is time to give them their walking papers. Tell them to GET OFF YOUR BUS NOW! Take control. Be in charge of your life. Be responsible for your actions, reactions, and your happiness. You can do it and you can be in charge of your life, your choices and your destiny.

You cannot always control some of the challenges that come into your life, but you can control how you deal with them and you can work through these challenges that do come along. The choices you make can have effect on your entire life and the path it takes. Always make your choices wisely and you will have no regrets about how things work out. Be empowered.


Laughter makes you feel good, but it also has a host of physical benefits. Laughing relaxes tense muscles, eases fatigue, improves circulation, and improves immune function performance.


Hope is a component of optimism. It need not be unrealistic - in fact, hope can mean facing up to a problem and then looking for ways forward. Hope is linked to the quality called "fighting spirit". Research has shown that women with breast cancer who could harness their anger and fear in this way lived longer than those who did not. The ability to laugh, and opportunities to do so, make for a brighter emotional landscape. People with a sense of humor tend to suffer less fatigue, tension, anger, and depression in response to stress than those without. Laughter eases muscle tension, deepens breathing, improves circulation, and releases endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving opiates. It also raises immunoglobulin A, an antibody in the mucous lining of the nasal cavity, and helps release hormonal substances called cytokines that promote the activity of "natural killer" white blood cells. These cells specialize in fighting off invading bacteria and viruses, and in destroying potential tumor cells.


Research in the 1970s and 1980s on women with breast cancer found that 80 percent who had a "fighting spirit" were still alive after 10 years, and 45 percent after 15 years, while those who accepted diagnosis stoically or who felt helpless, only 17 percent were still alive.

Some hospitals encourage mirth as therapy, by providing organized entertainment, but humor is also a generally optimistic way of looking at the world - a wry smile in a moment of tension, the refusal to take oneself too seriously. As a coping mechanism, it is an affirmation of life, an expression of joy, compassion, hope, love, and playfulness.

Patch Adams & The Gesundheit Institute
BullFrog Films: The Real Patch Adams

Laughter is the best medicine! The Geshundheit Institute is transforming health care through the power of a positive model.

The Real Patch Adams


These are simple ways to help develop more positive feelings about yourself and your circumstances.
being more positive

Doing something to help other people, whether voluntary work or visiting a sick neighbor, can help you feel good.
keeping a diary

Keeping a diary is a discipline that can help build a sense of inner stability.

Exercise, dance, and sports will help improve body image and self-perception.

Learning meditation, yoga, or qigong to help calm your mind and focus your thoughts.


If you find your mind continually focusing on negative, pessimistic, and anxious thoughts, you may be depressed. Discuss this with your health care provider. Positive emotions may be lying beneath the surface, and you should work each day to encourage them. If you lack confidence and feel anxious, you may find it useful to practice a form of visualization in which you recall happy occasions in your life and try to re-experience the feelings associated with them. Visualization can also help to improve self-esteem, activate the body's self-healing powers and even reduce pain.

A U.S. study in Social Science in Medicine in 1988 found that people who had never expressed how they felt about unpleasant or unspeakable events were more prone to feeling sick than others. Reporting the events tended to improve their health, but expressing their emotions verbally or in writing led, in the longer term, to a radical increase in their sense of well-being.

Art and music help express emotions that may be difficult to articulate, by penetrating to the intuitive and unconscious part of the mind. Playing or listening to music, chanting, and drumming all have a profound power to stir the emotions and change mood.

MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy


When you feel good about yourself you can accept your own imperfections. Being under stress and unable to cope, however, can undermine self-esteem and make you interpret every unfortunate event as the end of the world. Try to change the perspective by "reframing the image" - you are not a failure if you do not succeed, but rather a success for trying. If you feel overwhelmed by a stressful situation, stop and relax, and control your breathing, then reflect on how best to deal with it. Sometimes it helps to put aside a problem until it can be dealt with more effectively, but beware of procrastination. Taking action - making a difficult telephone call, for example - may be the best way to tackle a situation. If you feel unable to face a decision, making a list of pros and cons might suggest solutions and compromises.


MadBlast: Funny Videos, Jokes & Cartoons - You will laugh your pants off!
Realm of Laughter
Death by Laughter Laughter Loaf
Laughter Therapy - Is Laughter The Best Medicine?

MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
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