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Vol. 1. Issue 2.
Pages 130-142 (July - December 2015)
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Vol. 1. Issue 2.
Pages 130-142 (July - December 2015)
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El poder terapéutico de la risa
The therapeutic power of laughter
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Lourdes Velázquez
Centro Interdisciplinario de Bioética de la Universidad Panamericana, México
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La perspectiva holística se aprecia cada vez más en el campo médico y bioético. Consiste en considerar al paciente “como un todo” o globalmente, y desde este punto de vista se ofrece como un complemento a la tendencia hacia la especialización típica de la medicina moderna. Una cuestión interesante es la de saber si en esta perspectiva se puede mostrar una acción “causal” del todo sobre sus partes (causalidad descendiente o top-down), comparable a la acción causal de las partes sobre el todo muy familiar en la medicina especialística (causalidad ascendiente o bottom-up). Esta pregunta es particularmente interesante si se considera la “totalidad” de las dimensiones que constituyen la identidad personal de un paciente y que incluyen sus características psicológicas, afectivas, emocionales, intelectuales y relacionales, además de su corporeidad estrictamente biológica. En el presente ensayo se muestra cómo una característica específicamente humana, como la risa (cuya naturaleza es fundamentalmente psicológica), tiene esta capacidad de acción beneficiosa sobre el estado global del ser humano, incluso en lo que concierne a sus dimensiones fisiológicas y por lo tanto puede dar lugar a una verdadera práctica terapéutica, de la cual se relatan algunas formas y resultados científicamente documentados.

Palabras clave:
Medicina holística
Causalidad y complejidad
Causalidad ascendiente y descendiente
Efectos fisiológicos de la risa
Uso terapéutico de la risa
Abstract

The holistic approach is receiving increasing appreciation in medicine and bioethics. It consists of considering the patient “as a whole” or globally, and in this sense it constitutes a complement to the trend towards specialization typical of modern medicine. It is of interest to know whether in this approach it is possible to show a causal action of the whole on its parts (top-down causality) comparable with the action of the parts on the whole (bottom-up causality) very familiar in specialized medicine. This question is particularly interesting if one considers the “totality” of the dimensions constituting the personal identity of a patient, that include his or her psychological, affective, emotional, intellectual and relational characteristics, in addition to his or her biological bodily constitution. This paper presents how a specifically human characteristic such as laughter (whose basic nature is psychological) has such a capacity for beneficial action on the global state of the human being, including his or her physiological dimensions and, as a consequence, can become a genuine therapeutic practice, of which certain forms and scientifically attested results have been reported.

Keywords:
Holistic medicine
Causality and complexity
Bottom-up and top-down causality
Physiologic effects of laughter
Therapeutic use of laughter

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