Keith, UK:I am a part of the Carlisle Carers Association for caregivers. During one of our conferences, I happened to chance upon a Laughter Yoga workshop which was truly amazing and had me completely hooked. I tried it with my partners in the association and immediately noticed how all the care givers began to shed their worries and concerns - and how laughter brought people together. Highly inspired, I became certified laughter leader and started running regular workshops to help people bring more laughter into their lives.I now watch, more than ever, people's reaction to Laughter Yoga. In 2010, I did a workshop for a mental health group and used the laughter dance party CD. Two women who were severely depressed said they would never laugh and didn't throughout the workshop, remaining scrunched in their seats. However, I noticed that their feet were tapping to the music. When the workshop was over, their care supervisor said the two ladies wanted to thank me.
In 2011, after another workshop a lady approached me and said "thank you" but this isn't my first laughter workshop. She was on her way home to the UK from Bosnia and, on a stop-over in Germany, attended a laughter workshop in her hotel. She said she laughed and laughed and when she got home was still laughing. Then the tears came and she said laughter helped her to overcome what she had witnessed in Bosnia.
I mentioned the women who thanked me for "giving their laughter back". She said she had lost her laughter because she was told she had a horrible laugh. She said it took courage to join my workshop but, as our laughter became infectious, realised she wasn't the only one who had a "horrible" laughing sound. She had got her laughter back.
Here is another interesting incident when Laughter Yoga helped me cope with a crisis:
About five years ago, my doctor telephoned. He said the results of my blood test showed a high level of white blood cells. So an appointment with our local haematologist was made. The haematologist told me he needed to take a bone fragment out of my backside to test. Well, I wasn't too keen on that.
The day came for the biopsy. I was churning around. So before the appointment I decided to walk around and do some Laughter Yoga to calm down. Astonished people witnessed my clapping to "Ho-ho-ha-ha-ha."
I arrived at the hospital, was taken to a ward and put on a bed with trousers down - and held on to nurse's hand. The haemaltologist said, "needle going in now". He then started muttering to himself - no bone fragment! "I've got to do it again." He produced another needle, and as he said "needle going in," I started to laugh. Uncontrollable laughter. Then the haematologist started laughing. The nurse was soon beside herself with laughter. Laughter really works!
Oh! My white cells are a little high and the tests mean I don't need treatment. I get a blood test check every month