"People connect to each other in an enjoyable, personal way in LaughingRx that can't be recreated in any other format" . . . . --Nira Berry
What are the benefits of LaughingRx and why laugh?
Scientific studies have shown how laughter impacts your body:
You feel great! Reduced pain sensation
You feel happy! Laughter releases endorphins – happy hormones
You feel less stress! Laughter decreases cortisol levels
You feel more self confidence
increases creativity and mental clarity
Lowers your blood pressure
Boosts your immune system
Laughing is great for your lungs as well.
Laughing 15 minutes aerobic benefits compared to riding on stationary bicycle
Contact Nira Berry To Schedule your LaughingRx experience for:
Nira leads presentations Nationally & Internationally, based in the Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC region.
Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NANvH-ceAYI
10 Good Reasons To Laugh:
1. Laughter is a stress buster
Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, epinephrine and cortisol in our body.
By providing an the format for unconditional laughter, Laughter Yoga allows your body a quick way to reduce stress levels. This is especially beneficial and important to people in high stress jobs or in high stress relationships.
Not only can stress levels be reduced, but we can effectively protect our systems from the effects of further stress.
2. Laughter strengthens the immune system
The immune system is important in maintaining good health by keeping infections, allergies and cancers at bay:
· Recent research into the effects of laughter by Dr. Lee S. Berk, Professor at Loma Linda
University, California, USA, demonstrates that laughter will increase the count of natural killer
cells (NK cells - a type of white cell) and antibody levels.
· Laughter therapy helps to increase antibodies (Immunoglobulin A) in the mucous of the nose
and respiratory passages.
3. Laughter is anti-aging
· It tones facial muscles and expressions.
· Laughter causes an increase in blood supply to the face, which is why some people look
flushed. This nourishes the skin and makes it glow.
· People look younger and more fun when they laugh!
4. Laughing is aerobic exercise
Laughing stimulates heart and blood circulation and is equivalent to any other standard aerobic exercise.
· Dr. William Fry, Standford University, USA claims one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine.
· The singular benefit almost everybody derives is a sense of well-being because more oxygen is taken in during laughter.
· It is an exercise regime suitable for all, including people confined to a bed or a wheelchair.
The Importance of Oxygen:
From a medical point of view, the most important component of breath is oxygen.
Dr. Otto Warburg, President, Institute of Cell Physiology, Nobel Prize Winner (Dr. Warburg is the only person ever to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine twice and be nominated for a third), said about the importance of oxygen:
"Deep breathing techniques increase oxygen to the cells and are the most important factors in living a disease-free and energetic life. When cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not and cannot occur."
The very essence of our life is breathing. Due to stress and negative emotions, our breathing becomes irregular and shallow, thus affecting the flow of oxygen through our body.
5. Laughter is internal jogging
Laughter massages internal organs by enhancing the blood supply and increasing their efficiency.
This is especially good for proper bowel movement.
· Laughter exercises the abdominal muscles and helps to improve muscle tone.
6. Laughter is a Natural Pain Killer
Laughter increases the levels of endorphins – the body’s natural pain killers.
Norman Cousins, an American journalist who was suffering from an incurable disease of the spine, benefited from
laughter therapy in a situation when all painkillers were ineffective.
· Endorphins released as a result of laughter may help in reducing the intensity of pain in those suffering from arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasms of the body.
7. Laughter can control high blood pressure
Laughter helps to control blood pressure by reducing the release of stress-related hormones.
· Experiments have demonstrated that a 10-minute laughter session leads to a reduction of
10-20 mm in blood pressure. This however does not mean that patients taking 2-3 tablets for blood pressure every day will be completely cured. Always consult your doctor before changing any medication
8. Laughter can help dump depression and anxiety
The stress and strain of modern life takes a heavy toll on the human mind and body.
Sustained laughter through Laughter yoga brings on:
· Better sleep
· Reduced depression. Some people claim they can manage without prescribed anti-depressant pills and tranquillizers.
9. Laughter Alleviates Bronchitis and Asthma
Laughter improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood.
· Regular Laughter yoga practitioners report a marked reduction in the frequency of asthma attacks.
10. Laughter just makes you feel good
Laugh and the world laughs with you. How you react to life is up to you.
New Medical Study: Laughter Lowers Blood
According to a new study presented at the American Society of Hypertension 2008 Annual Meeting, laughter in the context of laughter yoga can significantly lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, or stress hormone, levels. Laughter yoga is a combination of laughter exercises, gentle yoga breathing, and stretching. The investigators of the study evaluated 200 people, both men and women, working in the information technology industry in India. These individuals participated in seven 20-30 minute laughter yoga sessions, where they alternated 45 seconds to one minute of laughter with deep breathing and stretching exercises.
After three weeks, the investigators found that laughter yoga participants experienced significant reductions in their baseline blood pressures, as well as their cortisol levels. Participants also filled out questionnaires which showed that their perceived levels of stress were also lower.
According to Dr. Madan Kataria, the lead investigator of the study, laughter needs to be prolonged in order to bring about physiological and biochemical changes. And, you don't even need to feel happy while you laugh, as long as you laugh heartily for an extended period of time. There are 6000 laughter clubs in 60 countries where people practice laughter yoga, so perhaps there's one near you where you can laugh all the way to better health.
Adapted from Heartwire -- a professional news service of WebMD Chaya MS, Kataria M, Nagendra R, et al. The effects of hearty extended unconditional (HEU) laughter using laughter yoga techniques on physiological, psychological, and immunological parameters in the workplace: a randomized control trial. American Society of Hypertension 2008 Annual Meeting; May 14, 2008; New Orleans, LA.
Factors that undermine wellness – how Laughter Yoga reverses them
Weak immune system: The weakening of the immune system due to physical illness or mental stress and depression undermines the health condition and leads to numerous complications.
Regular practice of Laughter Yoga (laughter exercises) boosts the immune system which is the key to good health. This is due to an increase in immune enhancers and a decrease in the production of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine which weaken immunity. Research conducted by Lee Berk, an immunologist at California's Loma Linda University Medical Center, has centered on these areas and supports the idea that not only does laughing have beneficial effects on the immune system; it may even combat certain diseases
Low self esteem: LaughingRx Laughter Yoga workshop/class/event is a powerful tool for personal development and self confidence. It helps to overcome inhibitions and shyness and eases out awkwardness. Laughter and smiling not only helps to communicate with others effectively but also creates a safe environment for others to connect and come closer. This goes a long way in achieving success in business, personal and social life.
Stress and depression: Stress and depression are two major components of ill health. They diminish all sense of rationality and reasoning. A person suffering from stress in rendered unable to cope with the realities of life and undergoes tremendous mental anguish, which at times can manifest itself in physical form of sickness and disease.
Laughter Yoga is an instant stress buster. It has been scientifically proved that laughter reduces stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and enhances positive emotions. Laughter switches on all that stress switches off.
Humor: Modern stressors and worries overshadow one’s sense of humor – People find it hard to laugh. Nira's laughingRx Laughter Yoga exercises are a simple exercise that does not rely on jokes or humor. Laughter is simulated physically but soon turns into real and contagious laughter and playfulness. It also helps to find one’s lost sense of humor. This enables people to laugh off their stress and they are able to exhibit an overall improvement in their well being and performance.
Shallow breathing: This is one of the major causal factors in the upkeep of wellness. Negative emotions constrict the supply of oxygen and induce shallow chest breathing. Laughter exercises are devised to facilitate longer exhalation and deep breathing through the diaphragm. This helps in flushing the lungs of stale residual air and increasing the net supply of oxygen. It also provides an excellent cardio and mid-body workout. The heart rate increase in one minute of hearty laughter can take ten minutes to achieve on exercise machines.
Poor circulation: Physical disease or mental problems all counter wellness. They restrict circulation and slow down the body system. Research has shown that laughter causes an ‘internal jogging’ that massages and promotes circulation to the digestive and lymphatic systems. It increases circulation to flush the body and organs of waste products leaving us ready to operate at peak performance. It even flushes the facial muscles and leaves the skin glowing and radiant.
Pent up feelings: Suppressed or blocked emotions can cause ongoing physical, mental and emotional problems. Their release can be life changing. Laughter provides an excellent non-violent method for emotional release and catharsis.
Laughter exercises are an effective remedy to release these pent up feelings through emotional catharsis. By enhancing the free flow of emotions, laughter can dislodge blocked emotions stored in the body.
Social withdrawal: Constant negative strains in life force people to withdraw. Feelings of isolation and loneliness restrict social interaction and relationships. LaughingRx is idyllic to improve relations as a way to generate a caring and sharing atmosphere and is a catalyst for bonding and creating friendships. Group dynamics of a LaughingRx workshop or class facilitates an easy outflow of stress and depression thereby promoting wellness.
Lack of exercise: Exercise is known to slow the aging process. Sedentary lifestyles and lack of time leads to reduced mobility and several physical complications. LaughingRx Laughter Yoga is a fun and easy exercise for all age groups and has a very high stick-with-it level. Dr William Fry, a well-known research scientist, who studied physiological effects of laughter, found that just 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 10 minutes on a rowing machine!! This is in respect to cardiopulmonary endurance. The heart rate of 120 can be achieved much faster through laughing than running on the jogging track!! Therefore, Laughter Yoga is ideally suited for busy professionals and business people who have little or no time to exercise.
Maintains Emotional Balance
Emotional reaction is one of the major causes of stress and undermining relationships.
It is comparatively easy to manage physical or mental stress but it's complex to handle emotional stress which can arise due to problems at home or at work, faulty relationships and several other strained situations. Faced with such circumstances, people find it hard to express their feelings and emotions. As a result, they suppress their emotions.
Laughter Yoga helps free flow of emotions and releasing pent up feelings. It defuses painful emotions like fear, anger and boredom thus preventing conflicts, easing tension and helping to us to understand and comprehend the other person’s point of view.
Not only does it release these negative emotions, it also cultivates positive emotions like unconditional love, generosity, openness, compression and willingness to help and serve others.
Scientific data also proves laughter to be an integral part of physical wellness. Dr. William Fry of Stanford University has demonstrated that laughing 200 times burns off the same amount of calories as 10 minutes on the rowing machine.
Another study reveals that after a bout of laughter, blood pressure drops to a lower healthier level than before the laughter began.
Laughter Yoga also increases the blood supply, increases the energy level, relaxes muscles, and works out all major internal systems like the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Furthermore, researchers report that laughter also affects the immune system. According to Dr. Lee Berk of the Loma Linda School of Public Health in California, laughing makes it grow stronger, with the body’s T-cells, natural killer cells and antibodies all showing signs of increased activity.
Laughter Yoga is the easiest and the safest way to good health. Being both preventive and therapeutic, it has is a powerful tool for complete wellness.
Laughter Yoga And Allergies – Asthma And Bronchitis
Causal factors of asthma – how Laughter Yoga can help Teen / childhood asthma
Scientific studies have proved that respiratory allergies like asthma and bronchitis are caused not only by physical allergens but also by a negative state of mind. In fact, the rise in the incidence of childhood and teen asthma is a worrying fact and has led to several research trying to ascertain the causal factors - the results of which have shown an obvious connect between an emotional state and asthma. Though nothing is certain yet, one knows that stress does play a major role in triggering these symptoms and bringing on debilitating physical conditions accompanied by mental upset.
We are subjected to constant (or chronic) stress that results in the continuous release of stress-related substances into the body. Without time to dissipate, the stress ‘cocktail’ can reach toxic concentrations and attack the body, resulting in a wide variety of stress-related illness including respiratory allergies which affect the breathing pattern and can at times lead to severe condition of breathlessness.
Asthma and bronchitis are both common chronic lung conditions that makes breathing difficult when the airways react to certain triggers or inducers causing airways to tighten, swell and fill with mucus. The lungs get less air which can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing.
Laughter Yoga has a profound positive impact on allergies, with many practitioners reporting complete disappearance of all symptoms of asthma, skin and other allergies. Though not an intervention for countering physical causes of allergies, laughter is a definite tool to remedy stress. It can help in reducing the risk factors by boosting the immune system, encouraging deep breathing and flushing the lungs of stale air and generating a feeling of wellness.
LaughingRx laughter yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing. It encourages deep diaphragmatic breathing which can have a positive effect on asthma. It also increases the number and activity level of natural killer cells, which attack virus-infected cells and keep allergies at bay.
According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Hajime Kimata of Unitika Central Hospital, Japan, studied the effects of laughter on patients allergic to dust mites, cedar pollen and cat dander. Skin prick tests using a commercial allergen were performed on 26 patients before and after they viewed the Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times. During the same procedure, a control group watched a video featuring weather information.
The results showed that allergic reactions of comedy watchers were reduced for four hours after the screening. In contrast, there was no effect on allergic responses of weather watchers.
Causal factors of asthma – how Laughter Yoga can help
Stress: Living in a constant worry cycle and faced with major stressors, one succumbs easily to the physical symptoms of stress, which can lead to asthmatic conditions and other allergic reactions. Laughter Yoga is an effective method to reduce stress. It improves the prognosis of the disease and helps in lowering the levels of stress-related poisons in the body. It has the ability to reduce or even clear allergic reactions.
Hearty extended laughter is one of the best exercises for those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. It improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood. It also flushes the lungs, strengthens the diaphragm and promotes healthier diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragm Breathing: The usual prescription for asthmatic patients is chest physiotherapy to remove mucous (phlegm) from the respiratory passages. Blowing forcefully into an instrument and blowing balloons is one of the common exercises given to asthmatics. Laughter Yoga does the same job, more easily and at no cost.
Many people previously suffering from asthma and bronchitis who practice Laughter Yoga daily in laughter clubs report marked reductions in the frequency and severity of their attacks. In many cases their symptoms have disappeared completely within months of daily laughter sessions.
Immune System By boosting the immune system, Laughter Yoga increases antibody levels in the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, thereby reducing the frequency of chest infections. It also tones up the mucous clearing system of the bronchial tubes.
Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect similar to deep breathing. This can be especially beneficial for patients who are suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.
Research has confirmed that negative emotions can trigger allergic skin reactions. Disorders like hay fever and eczema are regulated, in part, by hormones and neuropeptides released into the bloodstream in response to stress.
Laughter Yoga increases the level of positive hormones and neuropeptides in the bloodstream thereby reducing the risk of skin allergies. It helps to increase T cells (T lymphocytes) and the antibody IgA (immunoglobulin A), which fights upper respiratory tract infections.
Teen / Childhood Asthma
Teens with asthma tend to be more depressed and more likely to use drugs and alcohol. “This high frequency of depression in adolescents with asthma is most likely a consequence of a disease that impedes breathing, interferes with age-level activities, and complicates the adolescent process of developing a self-identity different from family," according to Bruce G. Bender, PhD, National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado.
Laughter exercises are ideally suited for young teens as it quickly helps to change the mood state by releasing endorphins, natural opiates that generate feelings of comfort and safety. Laughter Yoga helps one to cope with difficult situations and releases pent up emotions through the process of catharsis.
Though the most common cause of childhood asthma and respiratory allergies is genetic and physical, emotional stress caused by anxiety, anger or frustrations are also childhood asthma triggers. Children to day are faced with numerous stressors and pressures that can negatively alter the breathing pattern resultingin hyperventilation and rapid breathing that can further worsen an asthma attack.
Laughter Yoga is a powerful tool to remedy the immune system and reduce the negative triggers that bring on allergies. It focuses on all the aspects of well being – physical and mental. While the physiological healing power of laughter helps in recovery, the psychological takes care of the mental stress and depression that can reduce the incidence.
It teaches one to breathe correctly using the diaphragm, thereby increasing the net supply of oxygen to the body and the brain and using the lungs to the fullest capacity. It is the best prescription to curb the attacks and is a great preventive.
Testimonial May 2010:
The "Women's Group" loved
our laughing session. I am actually practicing the exercises
in the morning and I think it may be working. Thanks for all the info and
JOY Marcus, Potomac, MD
people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person."
"Laughter has changed my life. I feel much lighter and happier."
--Maj Brigette, Copenhagen, Denmark
Please consult your physician before starting any new exercise regimen or reducing your medication.
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