As told by Prevention First’s very own Beverly Burns:
On Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, sixteen participants and myself met to practice laughing exercises created by a medical doctor in Mumbai India, Dr. Madan Kataria. Laughter Yoga groups for therapy and fun have been sweeping the globe since 1995 in over 65 countries where there are over 6,000 laughter clubs and workshops.
The group learned to laugh together and alone for no reason, because we do not rely on humor, jokes or funny movies. It’s based on the scientific fact that the body will produce the ‘feel-good’ hormones like Endorphins and Serotonin and the pain-killer Dopamine whether the laughing comes from regular joking or simulated playfulness. Our brain gets the message: ‘I feel great!’ either way.
Laughter Yoga has at least 5 benefits.
- It changes your mood from sad, tired, grumpy to feeling relaxed and happy.
- It increases positive social skills because you do it in a group and look at other people and interact (The mirror neurons in our brain mirror what we see and we feel happier when everyone else is doing it –that’s why laughing is contagious!
- It helps our health because the deep diaphragm breathing strengthens our immune system against upper respitory infections, increased blood flow lessens arthritic pain, increased oxygen can help us create the Killer T-cells needed to fight disease(cancer) of all kinds and it lowers high blood pressure. Increased oxygen to the brain can help Alzheimer and Dementia patients.
- At work, because our brain has been getting increased oxygen (it needs 25% more than the rest of the organs of our bodies) our work performance and problem solving skills increase as well as how well we get along with our co-workers.
- Resiliency to stress, sorrows, and challenges we face increases and we find more inner strength to carry on than before.
The group practiced 4 sessions of how to conduct Laugh Therapy (Yoga) exercises and relaxation techniques. By Sunday at 4pm, each participant smilingly received a well deserved CEU certificate from Prevention First and a Laughter Yoga Leader Certificate from Dr. Kataria from India.
There were many belly laughs and much fun was had by all.
Jess Ford, from our staff, also participated and was a great help to me as I facilitated the two days. Congratulations Jess!
Laughing your way there is not such a bad way to get certified after all!
Remember to laugh a lot and stay positive for your health!