seem forced, but then it seems so funny that
the laughs become genuine. Laughing, like
yawning, is contagious.
Another exercise is the “ice cube laugh,”
where you pretend you just got an ice cube
down the back of your shirt. You laugh, wiggle, jump around. Do this for an hour and
you are exercising. “People start taking off
jackets,” Puckett says. “You are breathing
What if you think you have a dorky laugh?
Everyone has probably been told this, especially women, Buxman says (with a snort).
Give yourself permission to be silly. Take your
hand away from your gaping mouth.
Puckett says little laughter clubs form
spontaneously in hospitals all over once people have attended a meeting. “I remember one
little 8-year-old girl whose mother was very
ill,” she says. The girl went to a Laughter Club.
“I didn’t even know I could laugh anymore,”
she told Puckett. “It made me feel better.”
Buxman had a similar experience with
some troubled girls. At first they were forced
to attend a session. After much tough-teen
eye-rolling, all were participating. “Could you
come back?” ventured one young offender.
Ha-ha-ha-ha to you. And it’s not even
your birthday. C
Star Lawrence is a medical reporter based in
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