“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” —Buddha
I have used laughter all my life, and in my years in nursing it pleased and soothed many patients to be able to smile and enjoy laughter instead of only having their pain and illness as a focus. At the time, in the 60s, it was frowned upon by those in charge, but patients requested us to sing show tunes as we served meals (as nurses did in those day, kitchen orderlies being banned from wards) and lullabies as we prepared the patients and their beds for the end of day. Eventually the film "Patch Adams" appeared and the world began to look at laughter and joy in hospitals a little differently. Down the road I suffered a back injury and changed my career to business. I was very successful, people I dealt with liked my upbeat and friendly attitude - always finding a way to connect with my clients - often through laughter.
Eventually I met my husband through one of the companies I worked for and he “hung out” in my office, both of us laughing most of the time. Two days later he asked me to marry him - and our favorite song soon became “Our Song”. It was "I Love to Laugh" from the film “Mary Poppins”. It is quite a surprise to most people, whom expect a romantic ballad. We sang it at our wedding and have never stopped singing it.
So when I first saw Dr. Kataria laughing with Jonathon Cleese in the documentary “Faces” I was intrigued, but didn’t quite understand what was happening - I kept waiting for the punch line A couple of years later I read of Laughter Yoga in my town, but when I called to attend it was a closed group and so I waited, talked about it and waited … Then in April 2008, I received an email telling me of a Laughter Yoga club that was happening the next evening. I immediately told my husband. “We are going!”
I never looked back - the leader promised to connect us with training but after two weeks of no contact and no response to emails, I searched the internet, found training in another state and on World Laughter Day, May 4th, 2008, I received my Certification as Laughter Yoga Leader. Immediately I began providing pro bono Laughter sessions for anyone who wanted to attend. October 27th, my and my husband’s birthdays, I became the 6am EST. US, host for the Laughter Yoga on the Phone”, leading the “Jump Start Laughter Party with LindaBB” 365 days per year. 1 (712)-432-3900. Conference ID 6071292. What joy:-D What fun 8~D
At the time of my training I had great problems with the back injury left over from 1975, 23 years previously - I did much of my training sitting down with my legs up on another chair. I spent a lot of my time then in a wheelchair as I couldn’t walk very far. By the time October had come around I had forgotten the wheel chair - the endorphins had stopped my pain and that had relaxed the muscles, taking the pressure off the nerves. Joy upon joy! I still have to be careful I cannot carry my husband over the threshold, but I appear normal to most and no one would have any idea what my Xrays and MRIs hide.
In July 2008 I had another surprise - my breast cancer was back but we didn’t know where - I had no symptoms and appeared amazingly healthy - Laughter Yoga had restored my health and given my body a new life to match my spirit. I immediately stepped up the Laughter Yoga I was providing and still my oncologist could not believe the tests could be right. Eventually the diagnosis was pinned down to metastases to the bone marrow and given a prognosis of about a year. I immediately embraced all methods of healing, more laughter, a session for the staff at my oncologists office, jumping on a Rebounder (small trampoline) to stimulate the healthy bone marrow that was left, I tightened my diet to cut out all animal products for a while, consulted with world experts in herbs and homeopathy, made my own healing Yoga Nidre CD and used it daily. I laughed instead of having anesthesia for my bone marrow biopsy and the nurse and doctor performing the procedure laughed with me, the nurse had been at one of my sessions and knew what I was doing - the doctor said she just couldn't help but join in. In spite of the grave results, I used “Laughter Through the Tears” to assuage the despair and fear that threatened to overcome me. I managed to help my cancer markers recede and then hold. My blood tests slowed down their rapid descent into ill health. A couple of months ago, I had an allergic response to a drug and breathing difficulties during a surgical procedure - I used Pranayama (Yogic Breathing) and inner visualization to calm my body. Recently the nurse had just begun giving me an IV and I had another allergic reaction to the medication and difficulty breathing again, I was desperate not to have any more drugs in my body, but I couldn’t laugh as I could barely breathe, so I used the same Pranayama Breathing techniques plus Internal Silent Laughing, and it WORKED. My body settled down and my breathing returned to normal in less then ten minutes with no mitigating drugs. Joy, oh joy, oh joy! Laughter Yoga is an amazing tool.
In the meantime my blood work has become almost normal, my platelets doubling in this month before the medical treatment has time to work, I am borderline for it to work at the best. All without the help of medical treatment, which was not begun until one year after the cancer was initially discovered. Laughter Yoga has helped me do the impossible in a really short time, stick to my clean diet, made it possible for me to jump without pain, keep my immune system up and running and my mind and body in healing mode. Who knows how much better I will get if the medical treatment works too? Right now I am doing very well and so thankful for Dr. Kataria founding Laughter Yoga in a form that could be used without the need for comedians or even a good mood. Laughter itself provides all the natural chemicals to heal us and make our mood a good one.
In the last year I have provided corporate laughter for the oldest Insurance company in Indiana, had a professional video made of one of my corporate sessions, worked with churches, therapists, autistic children and adults, seniors and many other parts of society and corporate America. I always hold the laughter club even if only one person turns up. I have also become an administrator of the lLaughteryoga.org web site, Certified as a Laughter Yoga Teacher, coached two Laughter leaders who needed support and retraining to be able to perform as Laughter leaders. I have given over 400 pro bono laughter sessions, received the award of Laughter Ambassador from Dr. Kataria and loved and laughed every minute of it. I have also proved that with Laughter Yoga the most drastic body events can be soothed and diminished, and that terminal cancer can be assuaged if one has this Key - BELIEVE - LAUGH, JUMP, EAT CLEAN FOOD - Laugh, take herbs and homeopathy - REST - LAUGH - MEDITATE - love - VISUALIZE, LAUGH AGAIN AND AGAIN and LIVE! :~D ha ha ha ha ha
I am currently writing a book titled “Hearts Laughter” and composing a new musical back ground for my Yoga Nidre Healing CD. I am also composing the instructions to Internal Silent Laughter Healing that I use to calm my body. I have done this since childhood using another focus than laughter, ever since I was in hospital for two years from age 3 years, and had over 75 surgeries. With Laughter as the focus, the change in physiological response is tenfold over the use of a “Still life” focus for Internal Calming. I will share some of my book and the Internal Silent Laughter technique with Dr. Kataria with “Permission to publish” - so watch his diary J
LindaBB Queen of Mirth.
Copyright (c) 2009 Linda L Batchelor-Ballew