What is a Laughter Club?
© 2003 Steve Wilson
What is a laughter club?
There are many correct answers to this question because there are many variations in the applications of therapeutic laughter methods. References to the earliest prescriptions of laughter for health and a good life tied the idea to the spiritual practices of certain monks, shamans, Buddha’s, and healers.
Modern research in the biological, psychological, and social sciences continues to verify the wisdom of the ancient sages.
A laughter club is a sanctuary of sanity in a world that so often seems to be spinning senselessly.
Members come together to laugh and have a good time, of course. An important role for the leader is to help create the environment of "community" (temporary as it might be) in which everyone can contribute to help each other grow, relieve stress, find balance, gain a better outlook, have fun…
We can add that a laughter club is a haven of hope.
• Hope for better health.
• Hope for a happier life.
• Hope for a peaceful world.
• Hope for less stress.
• Hope for some amusement.
• Hope for a sense of community, even with strangers.
WHAT HAPPENS AT LAUGHTER CLUB SESSIONS?
Members of the club gather at regular appointed times in a designated place to take part in the laughter exercise workout and other activities that encourage playfulness, fun, and mental balance. They enjoy the social support as well as the physical and attitudinal benefits. There are discussions of the benefits of laughter and the concepts of sensible living that lead to healthy attitudes.
Laughter club sessions are organized around a core step-by- step program, and a session may include other playful activities and sometimes a guided imagery laughter meditation may be presented.
A laughter club session can take place in as little as 5-10 minutes, as a workplace break, for example, or at the start of the shift or workday. Anybody can participate in the exercises because therapeutic laughter is very adaptable. For example, it can work very well in schools, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Occasionally, outings can be planned ahead of time to last up to one-two hours, depending on the needs and desires of the group.
5 POINTS ABOUT LAUGHTER CLUBS
A session of breathing, stretching, and various types of laughter actions (some borrowed from yoga) No jokes are used, we laugh for the joy of laughing Eye contact helps to enhance and stimulate laughter All members laugh at the same time, the group supports the members, and inhibitions melt away Although a laughter club session typically lasts about thirty minutes, it is very flexible to be longer or shorter as needed
Think Globally, Laugh Locally