Is laughter the best medicine or are we kidding ourselves? There’s no denying the fact that laughter is an enjoyable activity that brightens your day and puts you in a better mood. When you’re feeling depressed or down, sometimes all it takes is to turn your mood around is watching a funny movie or show. However, scientists are now stating that laughter does more than just put a smile on your face, it’s actually healthy for you.
While people have been laughing ever since the beginning of man-kind, the benefits associated with it have only come to light in recent years. In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician working and living in Mumbai, India started the world’s first laughter club (also known as laughter yoga). Originally, there were only a handful of members participating in his club, but the numbers quickly multiplied as word the spread.
Using laughter as medicine is now practised in roughly 10,000 laughter clubs in over 65 different countries. These clubs are independent cells which operate with their own leader (known as a laughter captain) who instructs the members on how what to do. If you’re interested in joining a laughter club, you can either look in the Yellow Pages or online for a club in your area.
The reason these laughter clubs were started is to increase the overall health and well-being for their members. Eating nutritious foods and exercising daily is one way to increase your health, but laughing is a fun activity that offers countless benefits. Laughing increases blood circulation, relaxes your muscles, reduces pain, lowers blood sugar levels, relieves anxiety and helps ward off heart disease.
Even with all of these beneficial health affects associated with laughter, possibly the greatest advantage is the social impact it has. Many relationship experts agree that laughter is one of the keys to having a happy relationship. When there’s plenty of laughter between you and your partner, there’s less chance of arguments or fighting. In addition, laughter is said to actually strengthen the emotional bond in a relationship, bringing you and your partner together.
According to Dr Shevach Friedler at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Zerifin who looked at women undergoing embryo transfers, where an IVF embryo is put into the womb. In this study they found that just over a third of women entertained by a clown and had a good laugh conceived in comparison to 19% of a group who were not.
One the best things about laugher is that it free and you can do it anywhere. Quite a few if us pay for relaxation classes, vitamins, visit to practitioners, etc but with laughter you can simply run down to the video store, rent your favourite funny movie and enjoy. What’s more you don’t even need to laugh for real to get the health benefits, studies have found that simulated laughter can have the same results as your brain cannot distinguish the difference between real or fake laughter. Is it any wonder why people consider laughter as the best medicine around.
So what happens in Laughter yoga classes? Laughter yoga combines laughter-based activities, clapping and breathing to form an easy to learn and enjoyable exercise routine. Laughter yoga works by creating creating a contagious, yet artificial laugh amongst their members. Typically, a laughter yoga class starts by doing a few simple warm-ups and stretches. As people open up and become more expressive, the leader will direct everyone to start clapping, chanting and being more active. As you can expect, this produces a playful atmosphere in the room which allows the members to laugh more freely.
From our perspective laughter is the best medicine, its a fun and enjoyable way to increase your health and overall well-being. Is accessible and free – what more can you want.
If you are interested laugher yoga class feel free to contact us.