One of the most underrated treatment methods for opiate withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal is Laughter Therapy. Obviously, laughing by itself won’t do much during acute detox.
If all you did during withdrawal was laugh you’d still be sick and going through severe agony.
However, if you use powerful and effective opiate withdrawal remedies and then watch some comedy such as movies, shows, and/or stand-up, the laughter will provide you with seriously awesome benefits.
Let me explain…
Laughing Releases Endorphins
A good laugh can lead to some measurable benefits. Can you remember a time when you laughed your booty off? Ever laughed so hard that you were crying?
How amazing did you feel after that laugh?
Pretty darn good, right?
I remember my biggest laughing session ever.
I was in Orlando, Florida when I was 33 years old, and I was there for a training and certification program in both Food-Based Healing and Level 2 Qigong.
During one of the food-based healing training sessions, our teacher told us about a comedian named Jim Gaffagin (pictured below) who makes tons of funny food jokes.
When we got back to our hotel room that evening, we went on YouTube and found his most popular skit which was making fun of Hot Pockets.
It was around 5 minutes long, and both of us were laughing the entire time.
And I wasn’t just laughing a little.
It was 5 minutes straight of full-body laughing and my face was soaked from tears pouring out of my eyes!
I felt absolutely EUPHORIC after that.
Years after that I found out why.
A good laugh can lead to the natural production of endorphins, which are our natural painkillers.
An abundance of endorphins will lessen both physical and emotional pain.
So why is laughter helpful during opiate withdrawal?
It all comes down to a little science…
The Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
After an individual has been taking opioids daily for a few weeks or longer, something dreadful happens. Opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, buprenorphine, and methadone bind to the mu opioid receptors in the brain, intestines, spinal cord, and other areas in the body.
After binding to our opioid receptors, the drugs cause a MASSIVE release of endorphins.
We already create endorphins through things like exercise and eating dark chocolate.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “runners high.”
This euphoric state occurs due to the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters after a person goes on a good run.
When you take opioids you also get an endorphin high, but here’s the problem…
If you take opioids daily the brain stops producing endorphins on its own.
It comes to rely upon the drug to create endorphins.
And then once you detox off opioids, your brain doesn’t just start producing endorphins right away.
Instead, it’s a slow healing process and your brain doesn’t create optimal levels of endorphins for at least a few weeks, months, or longer.
Worse still, opioid drugs create huge spikes in dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation.
And again, when you detox from opioids your brain is no longer able to create dopamine, and this can last for many months and it’s one of the biggest reasons if not the biggest reason relapse rates are so high (about 95%) within 90 days of detox.
Opioid withdrawal also causes the fight-or-flight mechanism to go into overdrive.
This causes acute anxiety, insomnia, and tense muscles to name just a few symptoms.
Luckily, between this sympathetic nervous system (SNS) hyperactivity and the dopamine/endorphin deficiences, laughter can help to treat all three of these issues.
Laughter Therapy For Opiate Withdrawal
I want to restate that laughter alone will not be very helpful while you’re going through acute opioid withdrawal.
Laughter Therapy is a nice “add-on therapy” to a detox plan, but it’s not a stand-alone treatment method for withdrawal.
However, that being said, if you have some effective medications, supplements, or both to relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms, then Laughter Therapy is a seriously epic and highly underrated tactic to feel better.
Here are the main benefits of laughing during opiate withdrawal:
- Boosts production of endorphins
- Increases dopamine levels
- Lowers stress hormones
- Relaxes your muscles
- Enhances immunity
- Eases anxiety and tension
- Boosts mood
- Strengthens resilience
As you can see, all of these benefits can help you feel better during opioid withdrawal.
If you have powerful opioid withdrawal remedies to relieve most of the severe symptoms and then you laugh your butt off, you’re going to decrease even more symptoms.
That’s why I encourage all of my coaching clients to watch as much comedy as they can while they’re detoxing.
I recommend that prior to their detox, they should curate as many comedy movies, comedy shows, and stand-up comedy routines as possible.
Then when they’re detoxing, they won’t have to go looking for things to watch that will make them laugh.
They can simply go through their list and watch what they’ve curated.
Laughter Therapy really is the most underrated withdrawal remedy there is.
And now I encourage you to go ahead and curate your own customized list of comedy shows and movies that you can watch when it comes time for your detox.
Additionally, you should also use Laughter Therapy during post-acute withdrawal, which is the phase that comes after the acute withdrawal where your neurotransmitter deficiencies create lingering symptoms such as depression, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, etc.
- Opioid withdrawal causes massive deficiencies in endorphins and dopamine which causes anxiety, depression, fatigue, and other symptoms.
- Opioid withdrawal causes the SNS to go into overdrive, causing the release of gigantic levels of stress hormones, leading to anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms.
- A good full-body laugh causes your body to produce endorphins and dopamine and helps you relieve stress and tension while boosting your mood, among other benefits.
- Laughter Therapy alone won’t help much during acute withdrawal, and powerful withdrawal remedies are recommended to effectively minimize symptoms.
- When used in combination with proven withdrawal remedies, Laughter Therapy can be the extra boost you need for your brain to start creating endorphins and dopamine naturally.
- Many people relapse within 90 days of detox due to sub-optimal neurotransmission, and laughing regularly can help to speed up the biochemical rebalancing healing process.
If you have any comments or questions on the use of Laughter Therapy for opiate withdrawal, please post them in the comment box below.
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