Peals that heal
Laughter as medicine
By Star Lawrence
COULD YOU SING “Happy Birthday”
using only the syllable “ha,” without breaking into giggles? You’re getting the idea of
In 1979, magazine editor Norman
Cousins wrote Anatomy of an Illness, in which
he described being diagnosed with a degenerative disease. He checked into a hotel room
and put himself on a regimen of vitamins and
funny books and movies. His symptoms dissipated. (Doctors would recommend some
traditional medical care, too.)
About 10 years later, Karyn Buxman,
president of the Association for Applied and
Therapeutic Humor (
publisher of the Journal of Nursing Jocularity
www.journalofnursingjocularity.com), and a
colleague, Steve Wilson, who now runs the
World Laughter Tour (www.worldlaughter
tour.com), chipped in to bring an Indian doctor named Medan Kataria to America to train
Now, various forms of laughter medicine
are practiced in retirement homes, clubs,
therapists’ offices, yoga ashrams and even
prestigious hospitals across the country.
Laughing and humor are separate. Actually,
only 10 to 20 percent of laughter is in response
to humor—the rest is to show that one is
approachable and nonthreatening. That is why
laughter therapy is often done in groups.
It feels good to laugh. It ought to. Studies
have shown that laughter, even fake laughter,
releases endorphins, boosts the immune system, relaxes muscles throughout the body,
decreases stress chemicals such as cortisol,
helps people forget pains and is equivalent to
“internal jogging” when it comes to cardio.
“Laughter is a great stress fighter,” agrees
Katherine Puckett, national director of
mind-body medicine at the Cancer
Treatment Centers of America (
icine/ laughter-therapy.cfm), which has
A laughter yoga workout for kids
on DVD $14.95 & other exciting
Become a certified laughter yoga
leader at a 2-day seminar or study
Set in an antique
spiegeltent, Teatro ZinZanni is a magical evening
of cirque, comedy and
cabaret served up with a
five-course gourmet meal.
Enjoy three hours of Love,
Chaos & Dinner! Costco
members mention this ad
for $25 off any GA seat for
any Wednesday, Thursday
or Sunday performance in
Of Laughter Yoga
All can laugh. Laughter heals.
Learn how to shift your
attitude in minutes. Find laughter clubs near you,
week-end & online laughter instructor trainings,
laughter CDs, DVDs, books...we have it all.
The Gourmet Detective
The Southland’s favorite award-winning, interactive, comical
murder mystery dinner show.
Come laugh, witness a crime and
help solve a mystery. 20% off $69 ticket price with
Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! is
NPR’s weekly quiz that offers a fast-paced, irreverent
look at the week’s news.
Now airing on 500 stations nationwide, with more
than 2. 75 million listeners.
offered a Laughter Club a few times a month
since 2004, when a patient suggested that
cancer was short on laughs.
So what do people in a Laughter Club do,
you might ask. Therapists often seek neutral
ground, conducting laughter exercises.
One of these is the “greeting laugh.” You
face a person, make eye contact, then start
cranking out belly laughs. At first this may
Yes, Comedy that’s both HILARIOUS and CLEAN!
ComedySportz® teams take your suggestions
and create amazing scenes on the spot, with the
audience voting to choose the winning team
and a referee to keep things moving and keep
things clean. Come to our public shows each
weekend or bring our Show or Teambuilding to
your business, church, meeting or school event.
Now in 21 cities: Austin, Buffalo, Chapel Hill,
Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles,
Manchester (UK), Milwaukee, Minneapolis,
New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia,
Portland (OR), Provo, Quad Cities (IL), Richmond,
Sacramento, San Antonio, San Jose and
$2 off each ticket with your Costco membership
card and coupon from the Web site above.
Good through August 31, 2009.
10% off 2009 ComedySportz® Touring Shows
or ComedySportz® Teambuilding booked by
August 31, 2009.