It is a medical Dr. who created Laughter Yoga and the Laughter Club, over 25 years ago. Dr. Madan Kataria read the best medical and scientific research about laughter and learned that even pretend laughter creates numerous, unique, and lasting benefits for the mind, body and spirit.
He and his Yoga teacher wife, Madhuri, created a delivery system for laughter. Laughter as exercise, because research said laughter needed to be prolonged to be effective. Spontaneous laughter was unpredictable and short lived. In Laughter Yoga you don’t need humor or jokes. You laugh for no reason, intentionally, because you can, for 20 minutes a day. You can choose to laugh in your community or with others from around the world, on Zoom and Skype, or in person at the Funny Farm Laughter Club.
Laugh for Health, Happiness and World Peace
Laughter stimulates multiple physiological systems that activate the parasympathetic nervous system of the brain. Laughter decreases levels of stress hormones, and at the same time increases endorphins and stimulates the reward system of the brain. Laughter Yoga exercises move the diaphragm and indirectly stimulate the vegus nerve, the body’s major parasympathetic nerve, connecting all the major organs of the body with the brain.
Something So Simple
Laughter therapy shows it improve anxiety in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and Cancer. It reduce anxiety and depression and improve optimism, self-esteem. Psychologist Bernard Saper suggested in a paper for Psychiatric Quarterly that the ability to maintain a sense of humor and the ability to laugh acts as a positive coping mechanisms to help a person get through difficult times. Laughing naturally expels stale air from the lungs so more oxygen enters the body with each new mindful breath. Doing Laughter Yoga exercises brings more oxygen to the brain. Increase in oxygen improves a person’s mood, discussion making, and the ability to concentrate. Laughter Yoga adds fun to exercise.
Researchers have also found evidence of laughter’s ability to increase the body’s natural killer (NK) cells. The study, published in the American Journal of Medical Science, found significantly increased NK cell activity in a group of males after watching humorous videos.
High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous side effects of stress, as well as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. In a 2011 study, researchers exposed 79 participants to either a music or laughter therapy. Immediately after sessions, the blood pressure readings from the laughers lowered by 7 mmHg – (millimetres of mercury, how the blood pressure readings on a sphygmomanometer are abbreviated). In comparison, music therapy only brought blood pressure down by 6 mmHg. After three months, the blood pressure readings significantly decreased overall by 5 mmHg among the laughers. People in the comparison group showed no change in blood pressure readings.
And, if all these benefits aren’t enough good reasons laugh every day, a 2014 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that laughing burns calories. It also tightens the pelvic floor and core muscles.
Real And Effective Powerful Results
Once you learn Laughter Yoga techniques you use laughter as self-care. Practice laughing anytime you want or need to. Laughter is always free. It is always available. You can share laughter with family, friends and even enemies, and change the world.
“When you laugh you change, when you change, the whole world changes”
– Dr Madan Kataria