Whoever believes that “laughter is the best medicine” will understand very well why laughter therapy and laughter yoga work so well. Yes, you read that right. Laughing is now used to relieve stress and to keep diseases at bay.
Laughter therapy is done in groups and involves several stages like simple clapping at the start, playful exercises and then laughter exercises.
How does this work? It’s simple and scientific. If a person laughs, he releases the feel good hormones, endorphins, in the body. These hormones relax the body which in turn reduces stress levels.
Do you need to genuinely laugh while in therapy? Not necessarily. The body cannot actually distinguish between a real and fake laugh, so you will get the same results either way! Try it out for yourself!
Laughter Yoga includes four things:
Clapping in rhythm to ‘ho-ho-ha-ha-ha’.
Breathing and stretching.
Laughter comes from the body not the mind.
The picture here is of one of my participants at the Liverpool Mutual Homes workshop – it shows just how infectious laughter yoga can be!
When you take part in a laughter workshop you get a release of endorphins, giving you a “feel good” factor; the whole body relaxes and stress and tension is reduced.
You also get an aerobic exercise. Laughter tones your muscles and improves your respiration – and your immune system is boosted which helps you to resist disease.