Jan MacQuarrie, Canada: I have been a NLP trainer for several years and also a Laughter Yoga teacher, personally trained by Dr Kataria. Over the years I have found several parallels between the science of
NLP and Laughter Yoga. Here are some of my thoughts.
NeuroLinguistic Programing is a the study of individual thought, processing and the consequential effect with each person's emotions, behaviours, actions and language. These in turn impact our relationship with ourselves and others.This same study is also applicable with couples,community and corporations.
How does this relate to Laughter Yoga ?
Laughter reframes conditions by collapsing anchors
Laughter Yoga was initiated by Dr Madan Kataria in the early 1990s and has been a focus of bypassing thought processing to a great degree, by using the physiology of movement and sound to 'laugh'. Not using jokes created the mind, or by others, but just laughing from the body.
With this same idea, body laughter / yoga can also be used to override those thoughts which impact us negatively, as long as the laughter is created deep in the body itself. This is created by changing the response in muscles and organs from the original stress response to a relaxed response which will also begin to alter the chemical responses in the body towards health.
There has, over years been offered a shift to stress, to the public, in the form of reframing situations by giving an alternate meaning to data X. Sometimes these occur on stage, in advertising or therapeutically. This takes brain work by re applying data X into a different perspective. This may or may not be a lasting effect, dependant on both individual application and also on the skill of the applicator. This is called reframing and again involves collapsing historical anchors.
Applying Laughter Yoga to these stresses eliminates the need to reframe through language or analysis. By creating laughter from the lower body, (from the chest to the low abdomen), to any chosen memory, there is a natural unconscious change occurring directly within the body and organs to that history... This can be applied to individuals or groups.
Pacing and Leading
Pacing is the skill of meeting an individual or groups in current their 'mode' presented. And when required, to have the knowledge, to gently lead them to another mode, with integrity, for some required purpose. This is truly influential and is used randomly in our society, often from peace to fear. Laughter Yoga's objective is reversed. Taking people from fear to harmony and peace.
This means pacing and leading laughter sessions within the ability of any individual or group in time, length and process. Some examples are, a children's group , whose attention span might be short,or a seniors group whose energy might vary in length. An average adult group will be able to do longer laughter sessions with less distractions. This method is very applicable to groups of people with Alzheimers disease, or person's having had strokes, during laughter sessions.
Any effective group leader requires flexibility and creativity, which might be developed over a period of time or required instantaneously. This is especially applicable to laughter leaders and is a part of the NLP training.
Rapport are the ways we each meet in a world we can understand and do similar things. it might or might not mean peacefully, just matching each other Laughter, naturally, is the quickest way to build rapport with each other, in any country , however varied the belief or distance created from misunderstanding. It creates the facility to bring people together in a place of pleasure and overriding differences. Any of the laughter exercises encourages and enhances this rapport within self and with others.
One of the most profound skills NLP offers is the ability to use language cognitively and effectively. A simple example is inviting another to laugh with another or at another. Another is to work on an other or with another. The implications are very different for supporting personal power.
Automatic Memory Responses
Memory is affected with ongoing laughter practice. Namely, practising pretence laughter regularly, like any other behaviour we do, it becomes a habit.
A while ago I had the expereince of falling and sliding down a muddy slope. Previously my response might have been of indignation with the shock. This time , after having practiced Laughter yoga, I laughed and chuckled at the experience when I landed. A very different response internally for me.
This word means to copy with some precision. And that occurs mostly when we are small and learning from others, often unconsciously. NLP teaches us how to do this deliberately to laern to copy those who excel. In laughter yoga we do this consciously too, to learn the laughter exercises which then becomes an automatic behaviour.
Progressive conditioning involving all the above examples of NLP and Laughter Yoga with the applications of creativity, modelling, self rapport, leading .reframing and pacing and collapsing anchors in one instant! Once one has learned this method of Laughing it can be applied to many stressful situations by ones self or with others, not in a laughter club session.
I have had two major surgeries in the past two years and each time as I waited for surgery as I lay on the 'gurney' outside the Operating room and chuckled and laughed quietly to myself. I was asked what I was doing and soon had the operating room staff copying me . A good and relaxed time was had by all, even the surgical team. I 'went under' happy and relaxed Successful surgery, successful living !