Saturday, October 19, 2013
Laughing with Hepatitis C
The average child laughs around 400 times every day. Contrast this with the average adult who laughs approximately 25 times a day. This fact makes me want to either cry, read Dave Barry or watch Carol Burnett reruns. For me, laughter is the backbone of physical, emotional and spiritual health. Humor is the thread that keeps me from unraveling. I find ways to inject appropriate humor into nearly everything.
The potential health benefits of laughter are well- researched. However, if you need data to tell you to laugh more, you are in deep trouble. However, for you die-hard data devourers, at the end of this post there are some links so you can dig for details.
For those of you who appreciate laughter, you may be delighted to learn that there is a practice called Laughter Yoga. Originating in
Laughter Yoga is the practice of laughing as a discipline rather than merely
for pleasure. Dr. Madan and Madhuri Kataria developed Laughter Yoga about ten
years ago and now there are laughter clubs worldwide. Training is available for
anyone interested in becoming a certified Laughter Yoga instructor.
The Laughter Yoga website takes laughter very seriously. So much so, that the following warning is given: “Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. You cannot laugh too little, but you can laugh too much and put your body into destress (sic).” I assume that this is a typo or translation error and the author meant distress rather than destress. Heck, to de-stress is the main reason why I laugh. Also, I have a hard time believing the statement that one can laugh too much.
The Laughter Yoga caution goes on to say that, too much laughter can actually be dangerous, especially for older people (geezers like me). Well, this may seem closed-minded, but I cannot imagine getting through the geezer years without laughing a lot. Between the loss of eyesight, hearing, brain, keys, stamina, waistline, and sex, I am hanging onto laughter as if it is a life preserver. Besides, death by laughter sounds like a great way to go.
I think that humor helps me cope with all of life’s challenges, particularly hepatitis C. This disease was not a laughing matter when I was first diagnosed, but over time, it has provided some amusing moments. This is particularly true when I am in a hepatitis C group with others who live with this virus. Laughing with others is a communal act. It is like sharing an intimate moment or a fine meal. Laughter lifts the spirits and for a brief time suspends the hard edge of reality. It reminds us that we are all in the same boat.
Now let’s get laughing…This YouTube clip of John Cleese doing Laughter Yoga will get you started.
For Data Die-hards: