(NaturalHealth365) When I teach yoga or postural therapy, I try to have a good joke or story to tell to my clients, because laughter is good medicine for our body and soul. In fact, sensing how your body feels when you laugh is an excellent way to develop more kinesthetic awareness – an ability to sense and feel our body. Many people have lost their ability to feel, sense and inhabit their body leading them to a life of pain, disconnect and imbalances that cause dis-ease.
The benefits of laughter include promotion of the natural healing response. Can you imagine the day when doctors will (legally) be allowed to prescribe laughter as a medicine? It’s already been done by Patch Adams. In fact, if you want a good laugh, watch the movie “Patch Adams” – starring Robin Williams – it’s great!
Laughter, like conscious breathing, is a tool to develop your sixth sense and access deeper levels of your being. In addition, it makes us feel good as it lightens our heart, but also the body reaps much benefit from the strong abdominal muscular contraction and release that is created by the physical action of laughing.
Is laughing a mental, emotional, or physical experience?
It is all three, and by focusing and being present in the act of laughter, we are able to access the deep levels of our human ‘being’ instead of our human ‘doing’. Healers recognize many health benefits from a good belly laugh as in the saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine’.
Endorphins, the feel good hormones, increase with laughter, which keeps us light-hearted, alleviating depression, nervousness, and anxiety. Humor helps keep us in the now and prevents us from taking ourselves too seriously. It is also a non-toxic way to socialize and connect with other people without side effects.
A fun and effective way to rejuvenate the body – daily
When we let go of the stomach contractions created by laughing, fresh blood enters our organs and waste products are removed. Laughing acts as a massage to our organs and stimulates our solar plexus area, where we can sometimes be unconsciously holding unnecessary tension. In addition, the release of laughter aids in digestion, elimination, frees up repression of sexual energy and can help alleviate menstrual cramps.
Would you like to improve your posture? Try laughing to release tension in the ribcage which adds more length to your body and creates less joint compression – allowing us to feel and express emotions. A good laugh can even improve your immune system by boosting T-cells with better blood flow from breathing hard while laughing. The workout tones our breathing muscles, creates strong and fluid abdominal muscles leading to graceful movement and better balance.
Laughter is the ultimate stress reduction technique
The act of laughing engages our abdominal muscles beyond normal contraction rates, creating stronger muscles in our trunk that help support our spine. The relaxation we feel after laughing helps our nervous system to reset tension levels in our abdomen leading to a fluid but toned trunk area.
Couples that can laugh together and bring humor into communication are able to let go of grievances and keep a stronger bond of intimacy. A good laugh can ease tension between people and help us connect to our real feelings underneath the layers of tension we carry.
A great exercise without the need for an expensive gym membership
By tightening our belly when laughing, it actually gets more relaxed from the extra contractions that laughing creates. We can use the wisdom of laughter by simply tightening areas of our body that feel tight. Hold and accentuate the muscle contractions for a few seconds and then consciously lengthening that area is a powerful self-healing tool.
You can get more flexible paradoxically by tightening muscles and reboot the nervous system to release unconscious holding patterns. Make sure to laugh every day and allow yourself to be present and sense the feelings of laughter as you are doing it and afterwards. Sense the glow and feeling of well-being created by the gift of laughter.
Why did the chicken go to the séance? To get to the other side! Enjoy the laugh and focus on how you feel when you laugh and also the release of tension that is the gift of laughter.
About the author: Michaelle Edwards is a licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher, musician, and postural therapist living on Kauai. She invented a new painless way to do Yoga, fitness, self-massage and stretching called YogAlign that incorporates natural spine alignment and breath work to create good posture from the inside out. She is devoted to giving people the tools to heal themselves. Michaelle has a new book/DVD combo called YogAlign – Pain-free Yoga From Your Inner Core available at her website – YogAlign.com