Ever since we started the Laughter Club scores of people attending the laughter sessions have reported improvement in their health conditions especially those suffering from long term chronic diseases. But, is laughter really a healing force?
From a medical point of view any disease has two components:
a) Organic cause due to pathological impairment in the body, which manifests as different signs and symptoms of the disease
b) The second is a psychological reaction to the disease. This is the mental part which makes people apprehensive and anxious about what’s going to happen to them with that disease. A series of negative thoughts keep coming to the mind especially to those who suffer from long term chronic diseases.
As a medical doctor I would say that Laughter Yoga exercises help in both the components. First, it makes your mind positive and brings hope. As most diseases have more than 50% psychological element it is taken care of immediately and the person feels an improvement in their health condition very quickly.
The kind of thoughts we get depends upon the type of hormones circulating in the blood which are released depending upon the state of mind – When one is under fear more negative chemicals are released in the blood resulting in more negative thoughts and feelings. Laughter Yoga exercises fills up the body with positive chemicals, a kind of joy cocktail, which makes one more optimistic and brings hope to get over the disease process.
To take care of the organic element of the disease, Laughter Yoga helps by increasing the net supply of oxygen to the body cells thereby healing at the cellular level. Laughter Yoga also strengthens the immune system, a very important factor for healing of any disease.
In a nutshell Laughter Yoga not only prevents the illness but also has therapeutic value which helps to heal faster from a variety of illnesses.
Most benefits of Laughter Yoga (LY) can be explained under 5 categories that are easy to remember
- A Good Healthy Laugh by Liz Kearney
An article on Alicia presenting Laughter Yoga to the Park County Senior Center.
- Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient by Norman Cousins
This is an excellent book and was an integral resource in the creation of current day Laughter Yoga.
- Effect of Workplace Laughter Groups on Personal Efficacy Beliefs by Beckman, Regier, and Young
- How Do You Feel? from Laughter Yoga International
- Inverse Association Between Sense of Humor and Coronary Heart Disease by Clark, Seidler, and Miller
- Learning the Yoga Way of Laughter by Alex Perry in Time Magazine
- Norman Cousins interview with James Day, James Day's series of conversations with prominent thinkers, Day at Night.
World Laughter Day First Sunday in May
Mission: World Peace Through Laughter
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