Just try a dose of laughter therapy message

KUALA LUMPUR :  Laugh even if you have to fake it, to create that “feel good” high and immunity boost to fight disease and maintain good health.

The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is now being taken literally by the health- minded, causing a growing worldwide popularity of laughter therapy.

The therapy is seen as a much needed intervention, especially going by studies which show that today’s overstressed adults only indulge in a daily average of 14 laughs.

It has been recorded that a child laughs about 400 times a day.

Participants of the Cancerlink Foundation’s Cancer Care Givers’ Conference yesterday learnt about the potency of this positive emotional outburst from international laughter coach Jeya Jeyaratnam.

The participants, comprising individuals who have volunteered to be the caregivers of cancer-stricken loved ones or friends, found this was just the right tonic for their wards and themselves.

Cancerlink Foundation board of trustees chairperson Joanne V. Fernandez said studies had shown that when a person was made to laugh, his or her immunity system received a major boost.

“This is especially pertinent for cancer patients considering studies have revealed that many forms of cancer are caused by a weak immunity system,” she said.

“Of course laughter therapy is equally vital for the patients’ caregivers who, in offering support for patients, are themselves engulfed by mental stress and sadness.”

Meanwhile, Jeya when contacted, said the group of 80 caregivers who attended her laughter workout session yesterday had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“Using dance routines such as the chicken dance, twist and relaxation exercises, together with the laughter techniques, I showed them how to instantly click out of moods of sadness and depression.”

“In this way, they learnt how to change their energy level to a positive mode fast and cheer themselves up and subsequently transfer this energy to their wards.”

Jeya, who had started out as a fitness and personal development trainer based in the United Kingdom, had studied laughter therapy, a system developed by Dr Madan Kataria of Mumbai, India, in 1995 from a practitioner in London.

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