Laughter therapy, humour therapy, laughter yoga or hasyayoga is a sure-shot therapy to treat various mental and physical illnesses. Laughter therapy is a 15-20 minute exercise, which stresses on using your positive emotions in order to keep yourself healthy and fit. The laughter in this therapy is a self induced one, and does not involve any humour. It is just a combination of unconditional laughter and breathing exercises (also known as pranayam). We all know that laughter is contagious. Initially, you may find it difficult to laugh without a reason. But, if you attend the laughter therapy sessions regularly, eye contact with fellow mates and childish acts initiated by the instructor will trigger laughter.
The concept of ‘Laughter Yoga’ originated in India and has been in practice since the year 1995. Today, the concept of ‘laughter clubs’ has reached far and wide, and there are about 6000 laughter clubs in more than 60 countries.
Scientific researches in Austria, US and India have proved that laughter yoga reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body. Thus, it promotes positive thinking and hope. So, to get rid of your troubles or problems just laugh them off!
How does laughter therapy help?
Many of you must have heard the adage, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’. But laughter is not only therapeutic, it can also prevent many diseases and disorders. Laughter boosts your energy levels and helps to develop an optimistic approach towards life. Those who have practised laughter therapy have shown gradual improvement in their health. Laughter therapy has proven useful in not only reducing the symptoms of but also in the cure of many diseases and disorders.
- For reducing stress: Most of the lifestyle diseases and disorders are related to either stress or depression. Laughter therapy helps you to cope up with physical, mental and emotional problems related to stress.
- For cancer patients: A weak immune system is the cause of cancer in many of the cases. Hence, for cancer patients, it becomes inevitable to strengthen their immune system to stem the rapid growth of cancer cells. Here, laughter therapy helps to increase the number of natural killer cells, thereby destroying cancer cells.
- For overcoming depression: Feeling of being abandoned by loved ones, a broken relationship or an unsuccessful career may lead to depression. People often think that antidepressants are the best way to overcome depression. But laughter therapy proves to be the best medicine in such cases. It not only charges you up but also helps you to overcome the feeling of dejection and depression.
- For blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes: Too much stress may lead to hypertension and heart diseases. However, it is important to channelise the stress and find a way out; laughter therapy helps you do that. It helps to increases blood circulation and prevent coronary heart diseases. It also dilates the blood vessels thereby reducing the pressure on blood vessels. Laughter also brings down the blood sugar levels and, thus, helps to keep diabetes in control.
- For chronic illnesses: It has been noted that laughter therapy helps to reduce the symptoms of various chronic illnesses like arthritis, migraine, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, chronic aches and pains, etc.
Laughter therapy is also beneficial for school kids, prisoners, and physically and mentally challenged people. All in all, laughter therapy increases blood circulation and supplies more oxygen to the body and mind, and this helps you to stay healthy and optimistic.