Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.
Laughing Toward Health
In the 2010s, Laughter Clubs are drawing media attention. Especially since the Recession of 2008 - 2010, multiple natural catastrophes, wars, job losses, and predictions of end-time doom, Americans are finding it harder to laugh. This stress is also leading to increases frequencies of illnesses. Laughter Clubs can help.
As one person said recently, it is weird to laugh alone. I think in these hard times, laughing to yourself while walking down the street would cause more onlookers than previously to think you're crazy.
A few years ago, laughing in a group was also frowned upon, as some church services were hit by a "spirit of laughter" with a whole congregation laughing out loud for several minutes -- The media played tapes of these laughing services on the air and denigrated them as phony. Perhaps some of them were. However, there is such a thing as beginning to laugh and not being able to stop and it is not always some sort of sickness or cult or trick. Laughter Clubs know this.
Laugh Away Negativity
Sometimes in these days, if you laugh in a grocery store or on the street, some people look at you as if they want to hit you!
On the other hand, there is a shoe store I like, because the staff encourages laughter. If a customer begins to chuckle, someone will call out from the back, "There will be no laughing in the store!" and everyone breaks into peals of laughter. We need more of that, because I find that on some days, I no longer even speak to a single person. It is not a good trend.
Laughter Clubs are becoming an accepted venue for learning how to laugh more and feeling OK as you do it.
What is a Laughter Club?
Smiling is good for the heart, laughing is good for the soul and loving will keep you living, laughing and smiling
— Paul Chucks
The Mayo Clinic on Laughter
- Stimulates human organs: Increases oxygen intake, stimulates heart, lungs and muscles; increases endorphins.
- Relieves stress: A freeing laugh fires increases heart rate and blood pressure as well as some forms of stress-relieving exercise.
- Soothes tension. Laughter can stimulate blood and fluid circulation and aid muscle relaxation.
- Laughter often helps relieve pain and builds the immune system.
Try Some Laughter Yoga
Laughter Yoga was founded by Dr. Madan Kataria. He offers a special get-started pack of products and the first item in it is the Ebook called Laugh for No Reason . I think that's a good title. I don't want a crew of people to come into the computer lab at the library and horse around, laughing and screaming while people are trying to work, but occasional laughter even there is a good thing.
Since 1995, the clubs of Laughter Yoga have been completely free to join and attend. They never have any paperwork or other strings attached. Trained volunteers learn how to lead them as a physical exercise class that leads to laughter that is really not connected to anything.
No jokes, no skits, no sarcasm, just laughing.
No other exercising except deep breathing is done and laughter is nor forced. Sessions usually last for 30 minutes, once a week, but are provided more frequently in different cities. No attendance is taken or reports made.
At the same time, this full-body sort of laughter increases circulation, releases endorphins to fight pain and depression, and helps the mind and body in other ways. It may lower healthcare costs in the long run. Dr. Kataria of Mumbai, India, sees Laughter Yoga as a way to world peace and has taken it to schools and prison to help with daily life there.
No jokes, no skits, no sarcasm, just laughing.
Laughter can certainly be good for marriage conflicts -- In a TV episode of The Marriage Ref recently, three couples brought their complaints to a team of actor-panelists.
Two out of three situations seemed to be those in which one partner was almost a laughing hyena, while the other was embarrassed by this lunacy. However, by the end of the show, everyone was laughing and one woman won $25,000.
Not a single curse word was uttered during the entire episode that featured Ricky Gervais.
Patch Adams from the movie of the same name clearly knows about laughter and, with busloads of volunteers, has used it successfully across the world to help patients heal.
Telephone Laugh Line
No laughter club in you neck of the woods? Try a telephone laughter line operated by a great laugh leader laughterlawyer.com.au. That is Ms. Jackie Curran of Sydney, New South Wales in Australia and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Laughter Yoga Training
Illinois is a growing center for Laughter Yoga and The LA Times and The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio recently reported on a successful laughter group in Elgin, Illinois. The article was intriguing and made Laughter Yoga seem very simple and easy.
The Follow the Laughter link above provides information for finding and attending training classes to become a certified volunteer leader of Laughter Clubs. A three-day training course is provided in park Ridge, Illinois for about $300, but prices likely vary from this cost and some may even be free of charge.
World Laughter Day is the first Sunday in may each year, instituted by Dr. Kataria and celebrated in countries around the globe.
Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)
Training as a Laughter Yoga Leader can be used as CEUs for the healthcare professions that include nurses, physicians, counselors, social workers, activity therapists, and others.
The World Laughter Tour offers a two-day leadership workshop called How to Create Therapeutic Laughter, which qualifies for CEUs.
Advanced workshops are also available and one is coming to my town in August 2011. It is a week-long event that presents the President of the International School of Laughter Therapy in France to share laughter techniques not previously known or used in the USA. Check the website for a schedule of workshops around the US and Canada.
Laugh Yoga for Chairs and Wheelchairs
How to Laugh in a Group Near You
- Welcome to Laughter Yoga Australia
Laughter Yoga, Laughter clubs, free laughter clubs of Australia and New Zealand. Phone laughter clubs are the newest iteration!
- Laughter Yoga Club America - Laughing Yoga Education, Training and Workshops
Laughing is the best therapy that improves your health and keeps you fit. Learn about laughter yoga, exercises, certification, clubs, speakers and more with our Laughter Yoga Books, CDs and DVDs.
- Laughter Yoga International | Health, Happiness & Peace Through Laughter
Laughter Yoga includes self-induced laughter, relaxation techniques & yogic breathing. Learn laughter therapy, get best yoga books & DVDs & join yoga teacher training!
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 Patty Inglish MS
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 08, 2012:
It IS a good thing to laugh or purr! I like to, everyday, listen to music, laugh, and read some poetry.
haikutwinkle on September 08, 2012:
It's SO important to laugh at least once every day.
Cats may purr for healing purposes.
Scientific research has proven that cats are actually healing themselves by purring, allowing the gentle vibration to pass through their bodies and bones.
Humans may laugh for healing purposes too.
As noted in your article that laughter really does benefit humans in many ways.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 02, 2012:
A whole hour? Time would pass quickly though. It would be great.
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 02, 2012:
Everyone should have to go to an hour of laughter yoga before work each day:) Can you imagine the results the world might see? hahahaha I bet it would be great! That is one of those things that is really too bad that it would never happen.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 30, 2012:
We should all look for one, or start one!
Yogesh Bailwal from India on August 30, 2012:
Laughter clubs definitely have a role in today's busy life, where many of us may not even have time to realize its importance.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 29, 2012:
Kids can certainly cause enough laughter for one day! I wonder if there are any kids' laughter clubs - might be a good idea.
beindustrial from Effingham, IL on August 29, 2012:
Wow, i never tried joining a laughter club before. I get my everyday doze of laugh from my kids, alone... But laughter yoga sounds good, I will try this on of this day. Nice hub!
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 28, 2012:
I think there is a lot of use for laugh clubs and this sort of exercise. It can help a lot and people can make new friends.
celebritie on August 28, 2012:
I like this one, such a great job, one thing is for sure the person who becomes a certified laughter coach will live a very long time. LOL
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 27, 2012:
MarleneB - I'm sure the store clerk said that to make the whole store laugh! They could not stop and some had to walk out of the store, they were laughing so hard. I wish some clerks in stores would do this now - many seem to hate their jobs! I think that a retirement community is a very good place to start a laughter club.
Cardisa - I would like to see more happy chattering stores here. So many people seem to not like their jobs anymore. It sounds like you have a lot of laughter there!
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on August 26, 2012:
Are you really telling me that there are stores where laughing is frowned upon? Are people so serious? I guess that is why they don't take Jamaicans seriously because at every turn we find something to laugh about. Our stores are noisy with chatter and laughter all the time.
I would be very happy (no pun intended) to be a laughter yoga trainer....hehe..lol I am serious though. Currently my fiancé is my laughing coach even though he bugs me while I am at the computer but a dose of good laughter never hurt any one unless of course you pee your pants. Sometimes I laugh so hard I feel light headed!
Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 26, 2012:
Right after reading, "There will be no laughing in the store..." I busted out laughing because it is so hard not to laugh after someone tells me not to laugh. I had a great experience learning and laughing through your hub. I do think I'll look into laughing yoga or maybe start a group here in my retirement community. Excellent hub. Thanks for the laughs.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 20, 2012:
Has anyone found a Laughter Club near their home?
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 03, 2011:
That is certainly hilarious!
FloraBreenRobison on July 03, 2011:
I've never tried a laughter club before. I'll have to make a note on my calander about May 1st. Some of the best laugh medicine I find is satire-and accidently saying things the wrong way. One of the most infamous stories on my dad's side of the family is when Dad and Aunt Sheery were being babysat by their Aunt Thersa. they were arguing and Theresa was at her breaking poinbt. She meant to demand "Say one thing at a time!." Unfortunately, what she actually said was "Say "ting" one time!" They promptly said "ting" and burst into laughter.
susannah42 from Florida on July 01, 2011:
I could certainly use more laughter in my life. Where do I sign up.
vinsanity on July 01, 2011:
I think it would be fun to take some laughing classes haha! It has me laughing right now!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 30, 2011:
This is incredible. It just shows and proves how sad the world became. Thanks, Patty, for information I never knew.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 28, 2011:
I became locked up in a yoga pose once and fell over when I leaned a bit. Not as funny as your pretzel, surely!
Earth Angel on June 28, 2011:
I'm in my "twisted all up like a pretzel" yoga pose! It's enough to make anyone laugh! ;-) Earth Angel!
chspublish from Ireland on June 28, 2011:
I do believe in the power of laughter and the good it can do for us all. Thanks for bringing this info to us.
sean kinn from Key West and Budapest on June 28, 2011:
Earth Angel on June 28, 2011:
Blessings to you Patty!
Laughter Yoga is quite popular in California! Thanks for speading the word!
Have a Laughter-filled day! Earth Angel!
Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on June 28, 2011:
Hi Patty, I think we all need a good laugh daily and may even find it easier to do in these clubs and groups !
Useful and vote up !!!
tmheffernan from Middle East on June 27, 2011:
I have never heard of these before but they seem like a great idea. I think everyone needs to have a good laugh in these difficult times.