Laughter and Yoga for Cancer Treatment and Your Health
“Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy.” — Catherine Rippenger Fenwick
Laughter strengthens the immune system
Scientific studies have proved that hearty laughter has a powerful and immediate strengthening effect on our immune system. Medical studies around the world have shown that ten minutes of hearty laughter has a sudden and dramatically powerful effect in strengthening the immune system. This is where Laughter Yoga can play an important role in bringing laughter from the body, not from the mind. Laughter as a physical exercise helps to bring similar physiological and biochemical changes without involving the mind.
Laughter quickly increases immunoglobulin levels that help fight infection and increases the number of Natural Killer Cells (NK cells) in the blood. Natural killer cells play a key role in cancer prevention, for example. Dr. Berk took blood samples from subjects watching humorous videos and found that natural killer cells increased significantly with laughter. The NK cells in blood samples from laughing subjects quickly killed cancer cells he introduced into the samples.
Laughter promotes a positive outlook for cancer patients
Laughter yoga approaches laughter as a body exercise that can easily be done regardless of mood. Hearty laughter quickly counters depression and negative outlook, especially when practiced by a group of peers. This is partly due to chemicals released by the brain and partly caused by a powerful emotional response to the group dynamics of laughter yoga
Laughter activates and relieves your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
Laughter helps deal with pain. Hearty laughter causes the brain to release endorphin, a natural morphine that is also responsible for the ‘runner’s high’. A typical laughter yoga session can provide two hours of pain relief without drugs, making it easier for patients to retain full control of their mental abilities and keep their spirits high.
Laughter helps counter stress and fear. Hearty laughter causes the brain to release chemicals that reduce stress within minutes. It is typical to measure a 70% reduction in stress indicators after just 10 minutes of laughter.
Laughter stimulates many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Laughter soothes tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Nobel Prize winner (twice in the field of medicine) Dr. Otto Warburg has shown the strong connection of oxygen in the cells to health. He says we fall sick due to lack of oxygen in our body cells. The lack of oxygen is due to poor breathing habits caused by stress and negative mindset. This causes us to breathe shallow, irregular breaths and hold our breath when under stress.
Laughter yoga uses a combination of laughter exercises and yoga breathing to train our diaphragm and abdominal muscles to breathe deeply. This increases the net supply of oxygen to body cells and can play a significant role in preventing cancer by increasing oxygen levels in the body cells.
Hospitals have been using laughter for years. It is widely accepted that laughter speeds healing and improves mental outlook in patients.
Laughter Yoga provides a laughter delivery system that does not require medical clowns, joke books, funny videos or a sense of humor. Patients find it very easy to laugh with Laughter Yoga.
Perhaps the strongest feedback has come from hospital staff. They are amazed at how laughter yoga sessions energize them and melt away stress, making it easier for them to cope with their jobs. They report that their happy positive attitude and high energy levels appear to rub off on patients also.
Come try it out! If nothing else, have a good time. Ho Ha Ha Ha!
Laughter Yoga and Cancer
Laughter can help cancer patients in many ways and should be combined with other forms of treatment to provide cancer patients with the best quality of life and the best possible chance of survival. Laughter Yoga as a physical intervention leads to real physiological and biochemical changes in our body that have a profound effect on the development of cancer.
Over the past 11 years, many people with cancer have taken up laughter yoga. It has helped them to eliminate their depression and create a positive mental state and has improved their quality of life. Many of these people beat their cancer, and some believe that laughter yoga played an important role in their success.
How laughter clubs are healing cancer
Letter from Australia
Greatly inspired by Laughter Yoga Clubs I started to laugh all by myself every day after meditation. The laughter exercises include chants of Ho Ho, Ha Ha, and deep breathing. I also do these exercises even while walking. I allow myself to be spontaneous and childlike and make funny movements. I even sing some positive affirmations like:
I am happy tee hee hee; I am free tee hee hee; I am healthy tee hee hee; I am strong tee hee hee…
Regular practice of laughing alone has had a tremendous effect on my health condition. Though suffering from a tumor for some time, I can feel it getting smaller. Even my specialist was amazed when he realized it had shrunk remarkably. He canceled the radiotherapy and said,’ I am happy to keep an eye on it for now. I really believe it’s laughter, meditation and positive affirmations that have worked so wonderfully together.’
I also think laughter is anti-aging. Though I’m 60 I feel very energetic, there is less pain and I can easily do a lot of things. People remark I look much better and younger!
Des Nicholson, Melbourne Australia
Letter from the USA
Laughter Yoga Instructor: Martina Santesteban, Living Your Essence- Creating Inner Peace, Outer Balance