Laughter is said to be addictive. Given its several health benefits, that is desirable. Firstly it gives a sense of well being because of release of endorphins and neuropeptides. By ensuring the inhalation of more oxygen, the lifeline of the system, it makes people feel better. It decreases stress leading to lowered stiffness of muscles – muscle relaxation easing headaches, body aches and other muscular problems.
As blood vessels get dilated, blood pressure falls by 10-20 mm mercury after 10 minutes of laughter – very useful for patients of hypertension. With levels of antibodies and natural killer cells going up with laughter, it also improves the immunity – evident from thousands of laughter club members have decreased incidences of cough and cold.
Laughter has innumerable other benefits. It proves a potent anti-stress factor, decreases asthmatic attacks, increases stamina, relives arthritic pain, ensures good sleep and elevates mood. Since the serotonin levels go up after laughter, it is an effective antidote for depression too.
Haasya Yoga is a method of group laughter that is based on yogic techniques. The exercises are designed based entirely on yoga stretching, breathing and variety of stimulated laughs, starting with deep breathing. As simulation helps stimulation, exercise induced laughter – that compliments but is not a substitute for natural laughter – increases the capacity for the latter.
Helping individuals increase their capacity to laugh more, be more self-confident and self-expressive. Positive qualities are cultivated, thereby removing negative emotions as jealousy, fear, guilt and anger. The laughter club is in effect a behavioral training institute that spontaneously raises spirits at no cost. The concept of a laughter bank, where people come up with creative ideas for different types of laughter, for instance is to bring in play fullness into the atmosphere. The fun, frolic and childish attitude generated not only reduces inhibitions, but also curtails tensions.
Under certain conditions though laughter therapy is not recommended. Patients with hernia, advanced piles, eye complications, Angolan pain and those who have just undergone major surgery should not venture into this therapy without the explicit advice of a doctor. Pregnant woman should also preferably avoid laughter sessions till some conclusive data regarding the safety is available. Patients suffering from tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory infections where phlegm is produced must take precaution against spread of infection. Finally, even a normal person experiencing discomfort while laughing, must discontinue immediately and seek expert medical help
To read more about health problems and more, visit the Ailments page.