| This article deals with laughter and the attitudes towards joyful emotions in medical tradition of early imperial China. It first discusses laughing disorders in medical texts and discovers a growing tendency to use laughter as symptoms in description of various disorders, from mental illness, food poisoning, and visceral sickness to demon possession. The treatments suggested for different ailments shifted from bloodletting to acupuncture and moxibustion and later to herbal recipes, much in accord with current knowledge on the development of Chinese medicine. When a doctor used the term “laughter” to describe the patient, he was either trying to capture a kind of human voice that conveyed unbearably joyful emotions or to discern a sort of incontrollable facial expressions and body motions. Either way, according to Chinese medical conceptualization of the body, the patient was suffering from losing his or her essential air, the qi when s/he laughed too much. Since all emotions were considered harmful to one’s health, joy did not occupy a higher status than anger, melancholy, anxiety or fear in the culture of life-nourishment. People would be advised by medical doctors not to laugh at all if possible, much to the amazement of the modern seekers of a healthy life.