Kul Bhushan’s in-depth look into the healing properties of laughter.
Laugh Your Way to God – Osho
Laugh Your Way to Health – Magno
Laughter is very medicinal. There is nothing like laughter, it is very therapeutic. If people can laugh more, the world will certainly be better. And if people can laugh in situations when laughter does not come easily, the world can become tremendously different; a very happy world indeed, says Osho.
When you laugh for at least 30 minutes every day for six months, you can feel the changes in your body. New medical and especially brain research has confirmed what Osho says about laughter. The latest findings show major positive benefits when you laugh, says Magno who lists them as:
- Laughter reduces your pain. Your natural painkillers, Endorphins or the happy hormones are boosted by 27 per cent.
- Laughter lowers your stress levels. Around 90 per cent of your decisions are taken under stress. Laughter lowers your stress hormones such as cortisol, produced by adrenal glands. After laughing, you are relaxed and take more sensible decisions.
- Laughter helps you to relax more. When faced with danger since the pre-historic times, you are under stress and have to survive. You use the reptilian part of your brain that gives you two choices – to fight or flee. Laughter gives you more energy for both options. This is how it works: when you under stress, you send signals from your reptilian brain that controls the body’s functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance. The reptilian brain produces cortisone for you to relax but you don’t relax it properly. The cortisone produced collects in layers like butter. When you laugh regularly, these layers of cortisone are dissolved gradually.
- Laughter strengthens your weak heart. Stress takes a toll of your heart. Just 15 minutes of laughing gives you the same exercise as running, biking or weight lifting – without the effort! Thus, laughter is good for weak hearts.
- Laughter can cure diseases even fatal ones. Yes, a number of experiments have been conducted on patients who were shown comedy movies for six hours every day. Cases of total cure from cancer, including breast cancer, were reported.
- Laughter improves your blood flow and increases your immune system by 28 per cent. The antibodies in the immune system are boosted. One of these, Immunoglobulin A, is increases and helps you to fight upper respiratory diseases.
- Laughter reduces your weight. Yes, because it provides exercise for 160 muscles. An orgasm exercises 300 muscles. So when you laugh during orgasm, you exercise 450 muscles!
Now you know the tremendous medical benefits of laughter. Hold on! You also enjoy a great many mental and emotional benefits because regular laughter keeps you happy, contented and energetic. So the next question is: How to laugh for at least 30 minutes every day?
You can’t laugh naturally for half an hour. So you fake it till you make it! Since natural laughter does not happen when you want it, start with artificial laughter. Yes, artificially induced laughter has the same medical benefits as natural laughter. Anyway, your body can’t tell the difference between artificial and natural laughter. So fake it until it becomes real!
Here are some techniques for artificial laughter:
- Wake up laughing! Start right from the time you wake up. Don’t hurry! Take your time to get out of your bed. Close your eyes breathe with your belly and express your great pleasure at another great day when you breathe out with a long ‘Aaaaaaaaaahaaaa!’
- Get up from your bed and stretch out your limbs as you yawn. Make the ‘Aaaaaaaaaahaaaa!’ add giggles, increase the volume until they becomes a full belly laughter.
- Place your hand on your important organs and laugh out loud that you have them in good shape. Place your hand on your brain, heart, lungs, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, and the sexual organs to laugh!
- Laugh as you get ready. Laugh as you brush your teeth. Instead of singing, laugh as take a shower.
- Mobile phone laughter during the day – when you are in a formal situation or waiting, just place your mobile on your ear and start talking to a friend pretending that he/she is telling you a joke. Now start giggling and then laugh out loudly. Don’t bother about others around you. You can enjoy this for at least five minutes to perk you up!
Just laugh your way to health and God.
The author was inspired to write this article after participating in a workshops facilitated by Madita and Magno, the 3-day ‘Laughter Yoga Nidra’ at Oshodham (5-7 April 2013).
The workshop was preceded by an exhibition of Magno’s paintings to celebrate Mulla Nasruddin Day on 1st April and the 13th anniversary of the founding of Osho World Galleria. Madita and Magno led a unique meditation during which the participants selected one of Magno’s paintings and gazed at it until they got lost in it. “His paintings have a special quality and symbols that reveal themselves as one looks at them. A soft feeling of peace and balance emerges and one goes into deep meditation”, a participant commented. A hilarious session by humourist poet Rakesh Soni who had all in gales of laughter closed the event. Mulla would have certainly approved!
By Kul Bhushan