History of Laughter Wellness

In the Beginning, There was Research…

Doctor and Yoga Practitioner, Madan Kataria, was developing an article for a Health Journal. Investigating his subject, “Laughter- The Best Medicine,” he encountered many modern scientific studies detailing empirical data supporting the benefits of Laughter on the human mind and body. Particularly inspired by Norman Cousins’ Anatomy of an Illness and research contributions by Dr. Lee Berk, Dr. Kataria was moved to field test their studies.

“Laughter Club”

It was five people in a public park on March 13, 1995, in Mumbai, India. Laughing together. Bystanders… well, they laughed too, and the small gathering grew to 50+ participants. In the early meetings, everyone stood in a circle with one individual in the center of a circle, telling an amusing joke or story. Everyone laughed, and felt good.

Funny Business and Theory

The Laughter Club hit a roadblock after about two weeks. Jokes and anecdotes started to run dry, and negative or questionable jokes surfaced. Never the intent of the club, Dr. Kataria mined his research and unearthed the solution – The body cannot differentiate between simulated and genuine laughter, both produce the same ‘Happy Chemistry.” Based on this criterion, Dr. Kataria innovated a new approach to laughter initiation.

Laughter Yoga- Initiated

Amid skepticism, the group agreed to try Dr. Kataria’s theory. Laughter would be initiated, through no “humorous” reason, but through eye contact and playfulness. The group “acted out” laughter with Dr. Kataria and the results were amazing.  The simulated laughter evolved to genuine, hearty laughter for some, which was contagious for all- and lasted nearly ten minutes.  This was the origin of Laughter Yoga.

Laughter Wellness- Evolved

Dr. Kataria developed a range of Laughter Exercises to stimulate laughter. He included components of role-play and other theatre techniques. Yoga Practitioners, Dr. Kataria and his wife, Madhuri, observed the similarities between Laughter and Pranayama exercises, and incorporated elements from this ancient Yoga form to maximize the health benefits. Now Laughter Wellness is practiced worldwide, to the delight and benefit of all who participate.

What IS Laughter Wellness?

Laughter Wellness, led by a Certified Laughter Wellness Instructor, is a series of yogic breathing, stretching, and laughter exercises enjoyed to provide improved health for the participants. The science is in the physiology- not in a particular mood- to produce optimum Laughter Wellness. You don’t need to feel giggly; it’s not necessary to be silly- but don’t be surprised if you end up smiling!

Contact Us

Laugh N’ Live Well
Certified Instructor: Cathy Hansen
laughnlivewell@yahoo.com

CALL US: 717-414-8849

Please fill out the form to the right and I will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

If you would like to speak with someone on the phone, please call 717-414-8849.

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Contact Us

Please fill out the form to the right and I will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

If you would like to speak with someone on the phone, please call 717-414-8849.