People are often surprised at how different a Laughter Club is from what they expect. Generally, people feel happy after a laughing session, and some report reduced pain or feel clearer in their minds. Laughter offers a multitude of benefits to the body and mind-- and it works even if the laughter isn't genuine.
Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian doctor and student of Yoga, began research on the health benefits of laughter in 1995. Dr. Kataria was impressed by Norman Cousins' book Anatomy of an Illness and the research work by Dr. Lee Berk. Profoundly inspired, Dr. Kataria decided to field-test the impact of laughter on himself and others. He saw the similarities between Laughter and Yoga breathing (Pranayama exercises), and incorporated elements from this ancient form of Yoga into Laughter Yoga. His work led to the development of the first Laughter Club in Mumbai, India and has since spread with more than 5000 Laughter Clubs in 40 countries across the world. For more information go to his web site at www.laughteryoga.org
Laughter Clubs are non-religious, non-political, non-competitive, and a place where you will laugh like you have never laughed before, leaving you refreshed and invigorated. Laughter exercises almost always lead to real laughter, especially when practiced in a group.
Here are a few good reasons to laugh for no reason
1. Laughter increases the levels of endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.
2. Laughter strengthens the immune system and helps maintain good health.
3. Laughter helps control high blood pressure by reducing the release of stress-related hormones
4. Laughter is anti-aging. It increases blood supply to the face, nourishing the skin and making it glow.
5. Laughter is a stress buster. It reduces the levels of stress hormones.
6. Laughter is an aerobic exercise equivalent to any other standard aerobic exercise.
I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.
— Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers