Laughter Therapy: Types, Benefits, History, Research

Dr. Mahesh Annapure M.Sc. D. N. M.D. (A.M.)
There should be freshness on the face of person forever; It creates positive mood in his surroundings. Eyes and face shows the reflections immediately, pleasantness of the mind proves the success in every activity.

Laughter therapy is a inexpensive, effortless, naturally healing therapy also called as Hasya Yoga – laughter yoga. There is a correlation of the eyes and beauty with the mind. If you are pleasant by mind, you will see world all around you beautiful. Each person will look beautiful, each touch will be beautiful.

Pleasantness is not only limited to the eyes but it may be observed by a touch also, just like a little cold air pass in the summer season or a warm wind flow in the winter.

I am not perfect

We perform laughter yoga everyday as a spontaneous reaction of sense of humor. It is a natural overflow of our mind reactions. Satisfaction of the mind is a deep secrete. Many times the things bind up the gaiety of organs and mind, that get reflects on the physical body. The mobilization of the cells, tissues, muscles of the body occurs by the laughter.

Laughter by the satisfaction releases the hormones and maintains its balance. Many peoples use to smile when they are either satisfied or listen to a good joke. When you are heard a good joke, then why you may not laughter loudly? Smile is a sign of sensitivity and laughter is a sign of aliveness. Masked face is a sign of dampish person.

follow your heart

Why one should laugh? Is it a sign of good manners? What protocols have to be maintained? Under the worries of protocol and sophistications, many persons had forgotten to laugh in their life. There are also some believes in the countries like China, Japan etc where laughter is considered as a bad manners!

Cheerful persons are acceptable everywhere, as they remain happy themselves and make their surrounding environment happy.

Habits to be happy

Some habits to be opted for being happy all-time-
Welcome every person you meet with a smiley face and ask the wellness about him and his family. Before to open your reason for meeting, discuss about some positive events occurred currently in the surroundings.
Even a smaller gift but something new or useful to your friend will make his mind fresh.

Remain always in the group of small naughty kids, little kids are innocent and they use to laugh to respond the each movement of joy.
Laugh by the mind and heart, it must be a natural, even a little laughter brings relaxation to all.
Watch comedy shows on T. V., read jokes, read funny cartoons, attain comedy shows, do some funny activities, observe funny points from the surrounding.
In a long journey, share a good joke or funny story.
Adopt a tiny pet, his movements are so funny, will keep you laughter every movement.
When all your partners are tired and fill laziness, do something silly – funny act.

laughing dog

Commonsense for laughter
Laugh when there is a suitable situation for it.
Do not laugh at the sad events or occasions.
Laugh as enough. Stop when it is sufficient.
Much more laughter than expected, disturbs others mood.
Laughter unnecessarily exhibits your loss of commonsense.
Laugh naturally according to the situation. When smile is enough that time your loudness will be eccentric

laughter therapy

When not to laugh

When you are lying down, it is vigorous
If you are recently had surgery
If you suffer from hernia, lung disorders, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, etc.
If you are pregnant.

Kinds of laughter

Sanskrit book Dasharupa, a treatise on Dramaturgy, a Tamil tradition mentions six varieties of laughter/Hasa:
Smita – smile
Hasita – laugh
Vihasita – loud laugh
Upahasita – continuous laugh
Apahasita – laugh at unsuitable place and time
Atihasita – excess laugh

when life gives you lemon

Regular kinds of laughter:
Smirk: Slight, often fleeting upturning of the corners of the mouth, completely voluntary and controllable;
Cackle: First involuntary stage; pitch is higher and body begins to rock, spine extends and flexes, with an upturning of head;
Guffaw: Full body response; feet stomp, arms wave, thighs slapped, torso rocks, sound is deep and loud; may result in free flowing of tears, increased heart rate, and breathlessness; strongest solitary laughter experience;
Snicker: First emergence of sound with facial muscles, but still controllable (if you hold in a snicker, it builds up gas);
Giggle: Has a 50 percent chance of reversal to avoid a full laugh; sound of giggling is amusing; efforts to suppress it tend to increase its strength;
Chuckle: Involves chest muscles with deeper pitch;
Howl: Volume and pitch rise higher and higher and body becomes more animated;
Shriek: Greater intensity than howl; sense of helplessness and vulnerability;
Roar: Lose individuality; i.e., the audience roars!
Convulse: Body is completely out of control in a fit of laughter resembling a seizure; extremities flail aimlessly, balance is lost, gasp for breath, collapse or fall off chair;
Smile: Silent, voluntary and controllable, more perceptible than a smirk; begins to release endorphins;
Grin: Silent, controllable, but uses more facial muscles (e.g., eyes begin to narrow);
Chortle: originates even deeper in the chest and involves muscles of torso; usually provokes laughter in others;
Laugh: Involves facial and thoracic muscles as well as abdomen and extremities; sound of barking or snorting;

home wifi

Laughter benefits

Benefits of laughter are much more, spiritually, physically, psychologically and by other means are-
Health benefits: 
It boosts your immunity.
Provides more oxygen to the body
It evokes endorphin release
Promotes IgA immunoglobin production
Decreases body pain.
Relaxes body muscles, relaxes tension.
Improves cardiovascular system, protects heart.
Improves longevity

Mental health benefits:
Improves mood, keeps you fresh
Relieves stress and burden on mind
Enhances resilience
Add joy and zest to the life, make cheerful
Boosts energy and strength
Removes anxiety and fear
Removes negative thinking

Social benefits:
Make you acceptable everywhere
Promotes teamwork easily
Attracts others to you
Strengthen best relationship
Discard confusion about you
Helps to diffuse conflicts
Promote group unity
Create healthy environment at your workplace
Tightens bonds between your economic partners
Helps to sustain loss
Improves tolerance to bad situations

laughing patient

Laughter Therapy: 
Routine laughter is a part of your life. Beside this if you have a few minutes for yourself to improve your longevity, join the laughter club. These clubs are arranged at the morning. A prolonged voluntary laughter phenomenon is called as laughter therapy – laughter yoga – Hasyayoga.

It is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the equal physiological and psychological benefits as like natural spontaneous laughter.

This yoga is performed in groups with eye to eye contacts and playfulness among all participants. The forced laughter soon comes into real and contagious laughter, unknowingly exercising the face, mouth, esophagus, throat, lungs, nose, eyes, ears, cheeks, body, brain and mind.

Laughter yoga

Ten easy steps to perform laughter yoga:
In the start, do clapping of hands in rhythm that activates acupressure points, rotation movement of eyeballs.
Deep breathing relaxes the lungs and lightens the mood.
Now laugh like an innocent child.
Spreading eyes towards the sky, laughter by heart
Laughter by recalling embarrassing incident
Chanting ho ho ho ho by swinging both hands side to side
Without sound output, laughter by nose – nasal breathing
Laugh like celebrating, chanting yahoo yahoo yahoo!
Laugh like a silly person
By changing positions, laughter by swinging saying ya ya ya ya/ he he he he/ huh u huh u! Likewise


Research on laughter therapy:
Dr. William F. Fry, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University, California, was the first scientist to suggest in 1964 that laughter was a suitable field of study and the first to apply for public funding He became the first self-proclaimed Gelotologist -an expert in the science of laughter. Norman Cousins global peacemaker, receiver of the UN Peace, raised a lot of public awareness about the healing power of laughter and positive emotions following his miraculous “laughter recovery” from a fatal illness, spondylitis. AATH and ISHS. Humor scholars founder of The American Association for Therapeutic Humor and the International Society for Humor Studies have published hundreds of articles on the health benefits of laughter.

The research scientists Dr. Lee S. Berk, an immunologist at Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health and Medicine, has studied the effects of mirthful laughter on the regulation of hormones since the 1980s. Dr. Mickael Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, showed that laughter is linked to the healthy function of blood vessels. Dr. Ramon Mora-Ripoll (MD, PhD), a public health expert from Spain, developed an interest in humor and laughter after experiencing first-hand the positive impact laughter had on people’s health, moods and attitude in his own workplace.

Beside a great philosopher, Osho Rajneesh was an Indian mystic and spiritual teacher had originated a healing yoga practice for peace of mind, a three-week process involving voluntary simulated laughter, tears and silence.

There is much more beyond the laughter. A smile of Monalisa makes mad to the world, why we should not try this right now ! A continuous smile on the face and acceptance to the each situation is a better natural medicine for life.

Dr. Mahesh Annapure
M.Sc. D. N. M.D. (A.M.)
[email protected]

3 thoughts on “Laughter Therapy: Types, Benefits, History, Research”

  1. That is so true! I remember years ago reading about a man who had been given 3 months to live, so he asked all his friends to bring him comedy videos………he didnt die.
    I am very grateful for comedians who make me laugh……….and my dogs make me laugh………


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