Laughter Yoga and Heart Disease
A few weeks ago a young Indian couple came to my weekly laughter club. Their home is nearby Mumbai and they are now living in St Louis. The man told me about all the heart disease in their area of India and how many heart patients, after their bypasses, join Laughter clubs for the exercise and stress relief. I was really intrigued by this story. Laughter Yoga has all the elements of what would be good for heart patients - it provides aerobic activity, stress relief, social connections, gentle movement. I have been pondering all of this since the conversation. I am a nurse and am keenly interested in preventive health activities to empower people in getting involved in their own health.
Interestingly, just 2 weeks later, a 74-year-old man who has been attending my Laughter Club for the past 6 weeks came up to me after a session. He had a bypass several years ago and suffers from heart disease. He told me that since the bypass he has had problems with asthma. Joe said that he has noticed the Laughter Yoga exercises have helped him with the stiffness and movement of his left shoulder and arm which he has had since his surgery. In addition, he said he notices he is breathing deeper. I too, have had great improvement in my asthma since I have been doing Laughter Yoga. I was delighted to get his feedback!
Laughter Yoga is about finding joy and playfulness and fun but it is also very much about gentle movement and improving breathing.