Benefits of Laughter Yoga
You might laugh at this but right now, in over 110 countries around the world, people are laughing themselves to good health. The multiple health benefits of laughter yoga means that it can help transform our lives and ensure health, happiness and well-being. All of this from something that we all have within us; the ability to laugh.
Besides increasing happiness, it also strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and lowers stress. It triggers the release of endorphins and promotes health. Combining laughter with yogic breathing exercises has fantastic effects on the body and mind, and it does not require the practitioners to master any of the traditional yoga postures. Laughter yoga is known to increase oxygen intake and blood flow, improve blood vessel function, and lower blood pressure.
We all need some laughter in our life, and Pete Cann – ‘The Laughter Man’ ? has nailed it, what an effective antidote to the, I was going to say “winter blues” but actually it’s any “blues” you and your team may be feeling.
Pete’s story, his passion and laughter is indeed infectious and I would highly recommend The Laughter Man for any group of people. Team meeting, corporate day, sports team, group of friends
6 ways Laughter can improve children’s well being
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10 Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Laughter is an effective anti-stress emotion-filled activity and one of the best muscle relaxants we can do. Laughter dilates blood vessels and supplies more blood to muscles all over the body. A good laugh also reduces the levels of stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. Laughing doesn’t require any conscious thought process, we just do it. Our senses effortlessly combine, resulting in joy, peace, inner calm and relaxation. Laughter is the easiest form of meditation, which brings instant relaxation.
Boosts the Immune System
The immune system is responsible for maintaining good health and preventing infections, allergies, and cancers. Negative emotions like anxiety, depression or anger weaken the immune system and reduce its ability to fight infections. An additional benefit of laughter yoga is that it helps to increase the count of natural killer cells, a type of white cell. Researchers have found that laughter therapy increases antibodies (Immunoglobulin A), which is believed to have a protective capacity against some viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. Participants of laughter clubs have noticed a reduction in common colds, sore throats and chest infections.
Helps Cardiac Health
Laughter Yoga helps reduce the release of stress related hormones which is why it is an effective method to control blood pressure and promote relaxation. A 10 minute laughter session can lead to a 10-20mm reduction in blood pressure. Laughter Yoga may help to reduce the need or amount of medication people take for their blood pressure every day. Laughter may be the best preventive medicine for those who are at a high risk of developing heart disease, as it improves the blood circulation and oxygen supply to the heart muscles. An improvement in blood circulation results in reduced possibilities of clot formation.
The most notable benefit of laughter yoga that almost everybody derives is a sense of well-being and peacefulness. A 15-minute laughter session in the morning can keep you alert and fresh throughout the day. This is because you inhale more oxygen while laughing, giving your lungs an excellent workout. Laughter is equivalent to any aerobic exercises, minus the sweating. According to some experts, a minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation and is perfectly suited for sedentary people and those who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair.
Aids Respiratory Ailments
Laughter is one of the best exercises for those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. It improves the lung capacity and increases oxygen levels in the blood. Doctors recommend chest physiotherapy to remove mucous from the respiratory tracts. Patients who are part of laughter clubs have reported a notable decrease in the frequency of asthma attacks. Laughter therapy increases the antibody levels in the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, which helps reduce the frequency of chest infections. Stress is another factor that can cause an asthma attack. By reducing stress, laughter can improve the prognosis of the disease.
Mental Health Conditions
The stress and strain caused due to our active modern life can adversely affect the mind and body. Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia are at an all-time high. Laughter has caused positive changes in many people who take anti-depressant pills and tranquillizers. Laughter has helped such patients achieve better sleep and helped them overcome depression. Laughter Yoga works on the principal that it is impossible to be unhappy whilst laughing. This means that laughter enables people to break negative thoughts patterns and gives them the opportunity to think clearly and reassess emotions that may be causing anxiety or depression.
Natural Pain Killer
Laughter increases the levels of endorphins, which are our body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins released as a result of laughter may help in reducing the intensity of pain in people who suffer from a variety of medical conditions such as arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasms of the body. Many people have reported a reduced frequency of migraine headaches after participating in laughter yoga.
Many people are shallow breathers but the most beneficial form of breathing is to breathe deeply. Laughing helps us take in more air and activates the lungs completely. Laughter therapy can immensely benefit singers and actors as it increases lung capacity and exercises the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which results in better speech and vocal cord control. Laughter also enhances self-confidence and helps overcome stage fear by relaxing the body.
Lung power is one of the factors that determines stamina in sports. People with low breathing power soon run out of steam. A good bout of laughter before commencing any competitive sports activity can help increase relaxation levels and improve performance. Laughter can be beneficial as an exercise in any kind of sports activity.
Exercise Facial Muscles
Exercise has been designed for all the muscles of the body. But for the facial muscles, no exercises exist, except in Yoga. Laughter is an excellent exercise for facial muscles. It tones the muscles of the face and improves facial expressions. Laughter also increases blood supply to the face, which nourishes the facial skin and helps it glow. Laughing also makes people look more cheerful and attractive. Laughter exercises the facial muscles and makes one appear young and healthy.