René’s own struggle with lung cancer has bound her tightly to many patient-care and out-patient support concerns. Her experiences related to the healing power of laughter are exemplified by the sentiments expressed by Voltaire--French author and philosopher, “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” She demonstrates to members of the medical profession and support staff through her laugh-filled programs, “If The Patients Aren’t Laughing…They Might Be Dead”; Or when addressing the rising cost of health care, “Laughter Is the Best Medicine—Is It Covered By Your HMO?”, laughter can provide a welcome distraction for patients, especially those battling possible terminal illnesses and give some much needed comic relief to members of their family support system or out-patient caregivers.
René strongly asserts the enlistment of humor, as part of the patient care regimen, helps to build a closer bond with the patient. From her personal perspective she knows laughter has a calming and reassuring effect on patients and their loved ones by reducing emotional strain, which could hamper the healing process. She illustrates the effectiveness of using humor as a communicative tool to lessen the impact on patients receiving unexpected news.
Humor communication can also be a tool to educate the general public about health issues. "If you're trying to get your meaning
across by making people laugh at the subject you're addressing, and they are indeed laughing--you know they are paying attention to what is being said." She contends this leads to the visceral comprehension of the information that ultimately inspires subsequent positive health related changes. René feels compelled to promote the benefits of using laughter as a healing tool, in hopes people will make humor part of an overall wholistic approach to healthcare and maintenance. She especially emphasizes that as a preventative measure in maintaining good health, engaging in laughter has documented positive health benefits, most notably as a reducer of stress--a leading cause of many chronic and debilitating diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
“When we get sick, we know to go see a doctor or take medicine, but we so often forget to laugh, even though medicine is often spoken about in terms of humor. ‘Laughter is the best medicine’; and exactly where on the human body is the ‘funnybone’ located? For centuries, the foundation of the medical profession has been the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ and throughout history, great minds have spoken and written about the power of laughter. So, in the new millennium, it’s time to merge the two, into the “Humorcratic Oath’, with the end product being….Curative Comedy.