What is AATH?

The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) is non-profit, member driven, international community of humor and laughter professionals and enthusiasts. Formed in 1987 by Registered Nurse, Alison L. Crane, AATH provides its members the education, cutting-edge resources, and supportive community they need to excel in the practice and promotion of healthy humor.

What is Therapeutic Humor?

Therapeutic humor is any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life's situations. This intervention may enhance health or be used as a complementary treatment of illness to facilitate healing or coping, whether physical, emotional, cognitive, social or spiritual. Officially adopted by the AATH Board of Directors on June 1, 2000.

Who belongs to AATH?

AATH welcomes anyone who is interested in learning more about the application and benefits of therapeutic humor. Members include scholars, psychologists, counselors, allied healthcare practitioners, nurses, social workers, physicians, funeral directors, business executives, human resource managers, educators, clergy, hospital clowns, speakers, trainers, and many others who incorporate humor in their life and work.

Meet Our Members

Frank ChindamoFrank Chindamo, BFA in Film & Television Production and MFA in Screenwriting & Producing, is a tech savvy entrepreneur looking to do good for those in need.

Frank has ventured into many projects involving tech and comedy. One his first was “Fun Little Movies” in 2003, the first U.S. company to produce comedic films for mobile phones worldwide. FLM has been featured in such publications as Forbes Magazine, the L.A. Times, The NY Times, USA Today, the BBC, and more, and has won over 30 awards for the videos they have produced.


Frank’s most recent venture, LaughMD, came about through his experiences he had when he was with his family. After his father, younger brother and step-father all died in hospitals, Frank vowed to bring laughter into hospitals as a form of therapeutic medicine.

At first, Frank launched comedy channels onto the patient TV sets at two premiere hospitals in L.A. Later, he shifted the model to provide comedy to healthcare providers, who have very high levels of stress and employee burn-out. These factors can lead to increased hospital costs and even deadly mistakes.

Studies of Laughter on Stress

Through LaughMD, a study was conducted to see if short comedy videos, played on the healthcare provider’s own mobile phones, could reduce their stress levels. Afterwards, the study found 99% of the respondents felt the same or better after watching comedy videos. With stress levels, the average baseline rate of the participants was 3.34 out of 5. Average stress rating after consuming laughter was 2.69, a difference of 0.65 out of 5, or 13%.

An earlier survey done at USC’s Institute for Genetic Medicine had similar results. Participants who rated their stress levels at a 5 (Extremely Stressed), 75% saw a radical mood shift, rating themselves at a 1 (Not Stressed) after consuming laughter. If stress is a “disease”, these results, as well as those conducted by Frank and LaughMD, could indicate that people who are the most diseased stand to benefit the most from laughter.

Frank Chindamo and LaughMD intend to complete additional research and soon afterwards, launch the official LaughMD App which provides both the comedy videos and a self-measurement tool. It seems that in terms of relieving stress, laughter truly is the best medicine!

To find out more about Frank, check out his interview with Chip Lutz in Episode 10 of Laughbox.


Click to view Archived Member Profiles

Humor Academy

Humor Academy LogoThe Humor Academy Program offers Graduate Course Work and Certificate Options in Humor Studies by serving as a dynamic resource for the AATH community interested in the theory and scientific research that define Therapeutic Humor and its applications in occupationally diverse fields.

2017 Level II AATH Humor Academy Projects


Save the Date!

Annual Conference - April 12-15, 2018
Holiday Inn San Diego - Bayside