1 of 3
iStock
Research has shown that the smile that creeps up and explodes into uncontrollable laughter has multiple health benefits. So hospitals have begun creating spaces for laughter.

Laughter is a bright part of any day, and now hospitals and health organizations are making efforts to incorporate it into their patients' care for proven health boosts.

Research has shown that the smile that creeps up and explodes into uncontrollable laughter has multiple health benefits, such as relieving stress and pain, boosting the immune system, reducing blood pressure, elevating mood and stimulating the mind, according to The Huffington Post.

A 2011 study published in The Royal Society found that laughter actually releases endorphins in the brain that activate the same receptors as drugs such as heroin, stimulating pain reduction and euphoria.

Now, hospitals and health care groups are taking advantage of this natural medicine.

The Huffington Post reported that Washington's Sibley Memorial Hospital opened a Laugh Cafe in 2012, where senior citizens tell jokes and laugh together. North Kansas City Hospital, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Osher Center for Integrative Medicine have similar programs.

"I had heard about the health benefits of laughter yoga, so I informally surveyed my favorite jokester members," Marti Bailey, senior association director at Sibley Memorial Hospital, told The Huffington Post. "The overwhelming reaction was that they wanted a reason to laugh and rejected laughter simply for laughter’s sake.”

Dr. Patch Adams took the same initiative, developing a group of volunteers who travel to the world's most distressed regions as clowns, according to Quartz.

"People are the same everywhere: mothers squeal with joy as we entertain their sick children," Patch told The Moscow Times. "Grandmothers squeal even louder."

Email: smikati@deseretnews.com Twitter: @MassarahMikati