Ty Bollinger: One of the things, Dr. Contreras, that you mentioned was laughter and music. It’s so ironic… the reason I’m able to interview you today is because of Dr. Patrick Quillin. He spoke to you earlier today and said, “You should go interview with Ty.”
Dr. Quillin, in “The Quest for the Cures” [docu-series] back in the spring, he mentioned two important facets of any cancer treatment are music and laughter.
Dr. Francisco Contreras: They are the most potent immunostimulating agents available. There’s no drug; there’s no vaccine that’s more potent to stimulate the immune system. There is a very interesting study that shows that for every minute of anger you will depress significantly and measurably, of course, the quality and quantity of your immune system.
One minute of anger is six hours of depression. One minute of laughter will boost significantly your immune system for 24 hours. That’s why children up to the age of five laugh around 400 times a day. Adults only about 40. The reason why children can eat dirtand be dirty all the time is because they’re laughing.
Ty Bollinger: Laughter is the best medicine.
Dr. Francisco Contreras: And so they’re protected.
At the Oasis of Hope we have laughter sessions every day. Every time we get together with them [cancer patients], no matter how serious the thing is, we try to put in several jokes for them. They don’t have to be good. We laugh. Sometimes we laugh at the people telling the joke − not because of the joke.
Ty Bollinger: Sometimes you laugh at how bad the jokes were.
Dr. Francisco Contreras: Exactly. It’s amazing how powerful things that cost nothing are. Meditation, colors… there are studies that show that the most immune-depressing colors are white and blue. The typical hospital colors, imagine that. We painted all our walls in mauve because there are studies that show it’s the most immune lifting color. We take into account all of those things… those little things sometimes count for a lot.
Ty Bollinger: Sure. The thing that strikes me about that, Dr. Contreras, is the difference between that approach and the traditional cancer approach today where you’re diagnosed, the doctor says…”You’re dead in three months.”
There’s no hope. There’s no joy. There’s no laughter. There’s nothing. What you just said about the fact that laughter stimulates the immune system and anger depresses it… what about the feeling of despair?