Mother & Son: comedy for pain management
Rx Laughter Overview - Our Nonprofit Mission & Achievements:
Rx Laughter, a 501c3 public charity, was founded in 1998 to use the power of comedy to help youth and their families in distress from serious emotional and physical life challenges. Since that time, we have implemented humor therapy programs for pediatric patients to help them cope with serious medical conditions such as chronic pain, recovery from surgery, bone marrow treatments, critical isolation care, infusion treatments, addictions, depression, trauma, anger and anxiety. We relieve pain and offer freedom from the constant reminders of illness, pain and fear. This gives them the chance to be a "normal" person, to laugh, feel less alone, and to cope with the treatments with renewed energy.
We also help young adults with behavioral and emotional issues who are in support groups at mental health clinics. These children and adolescents are often struggling with issues such as anger, addiction, recovery from trauma and behavioral issues that interfere with healthy relationships. In this format, we use a mixture of appropriate, helpful comedy clips and frank discussions in an uplifting, non-threatening environment, supervised by their clinician with the goal of leading to new and healthier insights and perceptions, attitudes and behaviors.
- In 1999, we conceptualized, raised seed funding for and partnered with UCLA's Margaret Stuber MD and Lonnie Zeltzer MD on a medical lab research project at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, Mattel Children's Hospital and The Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute studying how comedy can help children who were having a painful medical procedure. Our results were surprising: Simply put, when the children enjoyed funny, uplifting clips, they were able to tolerate the painful medical procedure better. The children were able to go through the medical procedure with less pain - and their anxiety decreased. While preliminary, these results were solid enough for an outside scientific peer-reviewed medical board to approve it for publication in in the international medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, October 2007. Laughter, Humor and Pain Perception in Children: A Pilot Study -- Stuber et al. 6 (2): 271 -- Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- In 2000 we became a 501c3 public charity. Since then, as described above, we have used comedy clips to brighten mood, relieve pain and reduce loneliness in outpatient pediatric outpatient centers Dialysis, Infusion, ICU and Critical Isolation and in mental health centers as part of inpatient and outpatient treatment for serious emotional issues.
Present focus - 2015:
- We are currently partnered with the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston, where we teach children and teens who are inpatients in the behavioral unit how comedy can be a coping resource. Harvard Comedy Society members and alum volunteer with Rx Laughter for this project. This is part of our new national Rx Laughter Student/Hospital Pair Up Program where we partner students of all ages with hospitals & mental health centers for therapeutic and educational care.
- With our new all-digital "Pair UP" Student/Hospital Competition, we will reach many more patients at hospitals nationwide. Through this program, we plan on reaching at least 1,500 patients in 40 hospitals, helping young adults who are too sick to leave their hospital room, are not comfortable being around others their age during their treatment, and who live in isolated, rural areas.
- We have breaking and brief information on our projects at our News-Project Updates page here, as well as on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/contactrxlaughter. More information is available to our facebook members. Some of our past projects are described in a bit more depth here, at Wellness Projects
If you would like to help in our efforts, please see the Contact Us and Donate pages. Thank you so much for your interest in Rx Laughter.
Rx Laughter was founded by and continues to be overseen by Sherry Hilber, a veteran primetime programming ABC and CBS executive.
Rx Laughter is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation Tax Exempt ID 20 037 9277 Our Administrative offices are headquartered in California.
Home page last updated November 28, 2014.
Website written and edited by Sherry Hilber.
No reproduction or other usage of any text,
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without the permission of Rx Laughter Inc.