Kim O Meara
In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with CREST*- a fatal auto immune disease, which kept shutting down my body and hampering my movement. There were calcium lumps on my tendons, red dots all over my body and bleeding capillaries that finally led to a stroke. I was given just three years to live but here I am after 20 years! A miracle; thanks to Laughter Yoga. It played a huge role in my survival and taught me how to accept myself and life and how to laugh away all my troubles. Today, I want all of you to know that every little cell in my body is happy and that I am an enormous lover of life.
While recovering from the stroke and healing through the immune disorder, I took to doing Laughter yoga regularly. I sang happy laughter songs and soon realized that my body was at its optimum, the endorphins were released, the immune system was boosted and the stress levels were down. These are all the natural benefits that laughter brings and I laughed my way through two months of hospitalization.
Laughter changed my life for the better as it helped me cope with the pain of 38 years of personal abuse at the hands of my mother and two husbands. I now have no fear as I practice a daily regime of laughter, which has made my environment full of positivity.
Convinced that laughter is the best medicine, I now help people to crawl out of dark holes and troubled lives. It has the power to make people accept themselves and go through difficult times with ease. It also teaches deep breathing, which increases the oxygen levels in the body thereby reducing stress and trauma in the body. Laugh out heartily and you will experience a whole new feeling of happiness and joy from within.
*CREST syndrome is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, leading to the characteristic symptoms. it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The five main symptoms, which are represented by the acronym CREST:
- Calcinosis: The formation of calcium deposits in the skin, typically in the fingers, hands, and other areas of the body.
- Raynaud's phenomenon: An abnormal constriction of blood vessels in response to cold or stress, leading to reduced blood flow to the extremities, particularly the fingers and toes. This can cause colour changes, pain, and numbness.
- Esophageal dysfunction: Problems with the muscles in the esophagus, making it difficult to swallow and causing acid reflux.
- Sclerodactyly: Thickening and hardening of the skin on the fingers and toes, which can cause the skin to tighten and potentially lead to deformities.
- Telangiectasia: The presence of small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin, which may appear as red spots or spider veins.