When Paul graduated from Nursing in the 1980s, he started working in renal (i.e. kidney) care. His career, which has included further study and eminent research roles, has remained focussed on caring for patients with kidney disease. Currently, Paul is the Director, Medical and Clinical Affairs, at Satellite Health Care in California, an institution that aims to improve the quality of life of dialysis patients. Paul has conducted extensive research into this area including resistance exercise for dialysis patients and laughter and humour therapy, and it is laughter therapy that we dive into in today’s discussion.
Laughter therapy is a structured treatment carried out by a laughter therapist – it is not simply a comedy style routine. It does not need to be limited to dialysis patients and could (and does) have application to anyone suffering from chronic disease. Laughter therapy is, in essence, an exploration of the link between mind and body and how laughter, which is known to improve mental wellbeing, also enhances physical wellbeing e.g. improved heart and blood vessel health, improved immune function. It is, in my opinion, a fascinating area with the potential for broad utilisation.
I hope you enjoy my chat with the affable and humble Paul Bennett (and did I mention he’s an Ironman – kudos)!