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« Laughter is the best medicine»

Laughter word cloud concept

An old saying says, « Laughter is the best medicine. » One person who certainly would have agreed with this is Norman Cousins.

Norman Cousins was the editor of magazine called Saturday Review for almost forty years. He also wrote and spoke about world peace and anti-nuclear and anti-war issues, travelling to many different countries to share his ideas.

In 1960s, after returning to the USA from a busy and tiring trip to Europe, He discovered he had a rare disease, known as ankylosing spondylitis, that caused the joins between his bones to become stiff.

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In less than a week after he got back, he could not stand. Every move that he made was painful. He was not able to sleep at night. The doctors told Mr. Cousins that they did not know how to cure his problem and he might never get over the illnes. Mr. Cousins, however, refused to give up hope. Mr. Cousins thought that the illness could be caused by unhappy thoughts. He did not want to take medicine to cure himself. Instead, he felt that happy thoughts or laughter might cure his illness.

He began to experiment on himself while still in the hospital by watching Comedy shows on TV. Mr. Cousins quickly found that 10 minutes of real laughter during the day give him 2 hours of pain-free slip at night.

Deciding that the doctors could not help him, Mr. Cousins left the hospital and checked into a hotel room where he could continue his experiments with laughter. For 8 weeks , Mr.Cousins rested in the hotel room watchingcomedy shows on TV, reading amusing books, and sleeping whenever he felt tired. Within 3 weeks he felt enought to take vacation to Puerto Rico where he began running on the beach for exercise.

After a few months, Mr. Cousins was able to carry on his work. He had laughed himself back to healt.

History of Norman Cousins

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Questions

  1. Who agreed with an old saying « Laughter is the best medicine» ?
  2. What was the name of his magazine?
  3. Who was Norman Cousins?
  4. Which disease it was?
  5. When did he get sick?
  6. What did he watch in the hospital?
  7. What did The doctors tell him?
  8. When did he return to the United States?
  9. What did he decide to do?
  10. What is the main idea of the text?

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