Laughter is the best medicine – saying
The founder of laughter yoga, Dr. Madan Kataria, discovered that there are many health benefits associated with laughing while reviewing scientific literature for an article he wrote for a health magazine (“Laughter, the best medicine”). In fact, it was the many benefits of laughter that inspired Dr Kataria to develop a system of activities focused on laughing, and thus Laughter Yoga was formed.
To read more about the benefits of laughter, please refer to his book, “Laugh for no Reason” (2005), published by Madhuri International. The book explains in further detail the benefits listed below.
It should be noted that in order to receive the scientifically proven benefits of laughter listed below, one must laugh vigorously from the diaphragm for at least 10 minutes. This is the reason that laughter yoga is such a powerful modality. Unlike brief moments of laughter in daily life, laughter yoga enables participants to experience sustained laughter from the diaphragm in order to reap the health benefits.
- reduces levels of stress hormones in the body
- boosts the immune system
- is an effective aerobic exercise
- leads to improved circulation
- has an anti-ageing effect on the body
- has been shown to have positive affects on psychological problems like anxiety, depression, nervous breakdowns and sleeplessness
- brings hope and creates psychological distance from problems
- reduces high blood pressure
- increases the levels of endorphins in our bodies, which create a positive state of mind and boost optimism, self confidence and feelings of self-worth. Endorphins are also natural painkillers
- creates a positive emotional state
- brings people together and can improve interpersonal relationships
- gives people a chance to interact with others who share a positive frame of mind
- removes inhibitions, and over a period of time may lead a person to become more sociable, unreserved and outgoing
- enhances the free flow of emotions – deep laughter can lead to catharsis (emotional release)
- can dislodge blocked emotions stored in the body. Suppressed or blocked emotions can cause ongoing physical, mental and emotional problems. Their release can be life changing.