Sukumar Satpathy

Sue Ansari, USA: Two nights ago, I was awakened with what I know was a major panic attack – heart racing and crying hard. I didn’t know what to do and how to control it. I finally started deep breathing and decided to add some “Ho Ho Ha Ha’s” to the mix, and also decided to start tapping. I tapped systematically, the many different acupressure points on my face and head, while continuing to chant, “Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha”. It was shocking how quickly I calmed myself down. Within a very short time, I lay back and slept the rest of the night.The entire experience felt like a strange dream, but when I saw the pile of tissues next to my bed the next morning, I knew it wasn’t. No, I didn’t get down on my knees and pray, but I do remember before I started deep-breathing, I closed my eyes and said “Please help me!” and help came. Who would ever think it would come in the form of laughter and tapping! Really, I don’t know of anything that would be more beneficial to me at this point than to totally immerse myself in laughter. It removes the pain and brings the joy back… simple is that? It doesn’t remove the problem, it just makes it more tolerable.

I am a Registered Nurse and didn’t have anything to laugh about when I went through the Laughter Yoga Teacher Certification in May 2005. For several years, I was deeply depressed, and had taken out a life insurance policy with plans to commit suicide once the policy covered my death. Therapists, antidepressants and a slew of other methods had failed at treating my depression.

I learned Laughter Yoga because I was a Lymphatic Therapist. I have been taking movement classes for breast cancer survivors because exercise and breathing, along with laughter, improve the lymph system and increase cancer-fighting immune cells. After I was certified to teach Laughter Yoga, I started leading classes twice a week. A year and a half later, in November 2006, I realized I was no longer thinking about committing suicide.

Laughter Yoga changed so much for me; I can’t even begin to explain. It just opened my heart and soul, and I feel so happy. It’s not like I don’t get depressed or upset, but I just start laughing for no reason and it’s like, ‘Poof! It’s gone, Laughter Yoga didn’t lift the depression overnight, but I can look at Madan Kataria in the face and say, “Listen, you saved my life.”