Laughter Yoga For Hospice Patients


It has been proved that Laughter Yoga alleviates physical pain due to injury and disease and helps in speedy recovery. In fact, many instances have been reported when people have gone through physical trauma of surgeries without the use of pain killers! They just laughed it off.

Laughter Yoga is unique as it approaches laughter as a physical exercise rather than using cognitive humor. This means that anyone can laugh, regardless of their state of mind and cognitive ability. Therefore, it is not unusual for people who have suffered chronic pain to recover through laughter.

That's exactly what former fire fighter Gavin Parish did as he recovered from a serious accident which left him paralyzed. While recovering, a friend took him to a Laughter Yoga class to give him a break from the rehab. A little skeptical in the beginning, Parish felt completely at ease as the participants accepted him and helped him break the ice. "That's the thing with laughter, it really breaks down barriers, he said."

Laughter Yoga gave him an opportunity to feel good every week and eventually he trained as a Laughter Yoga instructor and now runs laughter sessions at the Amitabha Hospice in the Auckland suburb of Avondale. The purpose of the group is to allow the patients to connect with one another and give them something to look forward to. They enjoy these sessions as it distracts them from their pain.