Humor and Health – Interview with Laughter Yoga Leader Betty Mendez

This week MyHyena.com had the pleasure of interviewing certified laughter yoga leader and Reiki Master Betty Mendez. Betty is the founder of Everyday Spirituality, where she inspires wellness through various programs including breathwork, meditation, drumming, and of course laughter yoga. What made you decide to be involved in laughter yoga? I first experienced Laughter Yoga at a local cancer center that offers a Mind-Body Wellness Series for patients and the public. As a Reiki Master practitioner and educator, I am always continuing my education of all things health-related. What I experienced with laughter yoga was the purest, most child-like and genuine laughter. It made me realize that I had not enjoyed that type of laughter in a long, long time. I became a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and began offering classes in 2010 at our local arthritis aquatic center. I love the adaptability of laughter yoga exercises and how they can be tailored to focus on specific dimensions (cross-brain training, eye-hand coordination, range of motion, cardio-vascular workout), or various populations (schools, senior centers, health/fitness centers, medical clinics/hospitals, cancer centers, prisons, corporate, or support groups). What was your profession before you dedicated yourself to the healing profession? In June of 2007, I walked away from a wonderful but very stressful Human Resources career. I experienced the loss of three employees, one right after the other, which created an even greater level of stress with this huge sense of loss. That you could say was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Upon separating, I realized I needed to find a way to heal my “whole” body–my physical body as...

Humor and Health – Interview with Laughter Facilitator Joe Hoare

This week we had the honor to interview laughter workshop facilitator and humor healer extraordinaire, Joe Hoare. Mr. Hoare has been helping people make positive change through laughter workshops, seminars, and keynote speaking. He is also the creator of the UK’s Laughter Facilitation course. What made you decide to be a facilitator of laughter therapy? It works. It works for me. It works for others. My first remembered original conscious thought (when I was 16) was that I wanted to help people. My own journey followed (suicide attempts; insomnia and breakdown; spiritual catharsis) until I had sufficiently little ‘unfinished business’ and was able to responsibly help others. What profession or line of work were you in prior to this? My previous career was 20 years managing forest operations. However, the last 10 years I was freelance and also started a stress management business which fed directly into Quantum Laughter, my current work. Can you share any examples in your life (or the life of someone you know) when humor or laughter helped get you (or he/she) through some hard times? Hi Joe, I just wanted to let you know how I have been getting on since I came to the last Laughter Club meeting in September. I have been following your instructions to smile first thing every morning and last thing at night. Wonderful! I have to say that I have felt a real change in me. My face seems lighter and I feel more positive. Last week whilst reading the news on Bristol hospital Radio my fellow news-reader read a funny story and I laughed until I cried...

Humor Heals in South African Hospice

On tonight’s show we will be sharing the following article written by SIBONGILE NKOSI on how humor is helping heal those at a South African hospice. In the article, Nikosi writes about how the hospice has implemented laughter therapy to help its caregivers. Mpho Montsho, an assistant teacher, said: “The first time I started with it, I questioned what on earth was this laughter therapy. I also found it hard to laugh as it looked stupid and childish but, when I saw everyone laughing, I also couldn’t help myself.” Though it appeared to be a silly activity at first, the caregivers are now finding the full benefits of laughter in their lives. Mida Matona, a staff nurse at the hospice, said: “Working with dying people is stressful and the therapy helps me to nurse patients and communicate better with my colleagues. It lifts our spirit and helps us to cope with the grief.” To read more, checkout the article here:...

Humor Heals: Health Benefits of Laughter and Humor

  “The best doctors in the world are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.” – Jonathan Swift We all know that the simple act of laughing can make us feel better. Humor injected at the oppropriate time can make a dull and down moment a fun and exciting one. However, often neglected, is how beneficial humor and laughter can be for our health. Below is just a partial list of those benefits. Humor and Laughter for Pain Reduction We can outline three possible ways in which laughter and humor can help reduce the perception of pain. 1. Shifts our attention. Our perception of our pain increases the more we pay attention to it. Humor can be used to distract our attention away from our pain. 2. Reduces muscle tension. When we feel pain our natural reaction is to tense muscles around the painful region of our body, worsening the feeling of pain. In addition, we can sometimes find ourselves in pain due to tension itself, such as when we have tension headaches. Laughter can cause the loss of tension in the skeletal muscles and thereby reduces, and sometimes relieves, pain when tension exists. 3. May help create endorphins. According to The Laughter Presciption by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Bill Dana, studies show that laughter may help produce the bodies natural pain killers known as endorphons: “Mirth and laughter stimulate the brain to produce catecholamine…which prepares us to respond physically for either fight or flight. The arousal hormone in turn stimulates release of endorphins–our natural painkillers. As the level of endorphins in the brain increases, the perception of...

Humor as Ultimate Holistic Therapy

Ok, so maybe ultimate is stretching it a bit. I mean there is fierce competition out there. In addition to the conventional visits to the doctor and your garden-variety pharmaceuticals, many of us have access to meditation instruction, yoga, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and other various practices. People talk or boast about how they are able to practice sitting mediation for hours without thinking or how they inhale various “medicinal” plants to help clear their minds. In contrast, it is not often that you will hear someone say, “Peyote? Oh, no thank you. I prefer ingesting a couple hours of Cosby with some spontaneous tickling thrown in.” As it turns out though, humor may be one of the most effective and inexpensive forms of holistic therapy. The word “holistic” has become so popular that it’s lost some of its meaning. Everyone uses it from the local chiropractor to the neighborhood streetwalker: “$20, and I’ll make you feel good all over.” For our purposes, holistic refers to the perception that our ailments and illnesses are affected not just by our physical condition, but by our mental/emotional states as well as our spiritual states. By referring to humor as holistic, I’m suggesting that humor can be used to alter one’s mental, physical, and spiritual conditions. MIND How often are you angry or upset over the events of the previous day? Or, how many times do you find yourself driving in your car on the way to work worrying about your next meeting or a possible confrontation with a boss, coworker or client? In our minds many of us prepare for battle, engage in...

Happiness Through Perspective

Many of us drudge about our day unhappy. More often than not our unhappiness isn’t due to some catastrophic event or grave situation. Instead it’s due to making a mountain out of a mole hill. It’s often due to an incomplete perception of our lives rather than how our lives really are. What’s needed is some proper context. What’s needed is some proper perspective so that we can see how blessed of us are really are. But how? This can be hard to do. It’s often difficult to see the forest from the trees. That mortgage bill does sometimes feel like the lion that our ancestors once ran away from with great fear. But is it really that bad? Here is a list that should help you gain proper perspective of your troubles. I’m hoping this becomes part of our humor healing rotation of posts. It will be a series on depressing facts. Yup. Be happy by looking at depressing truths. Here’s a great list that we’ll start with: http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/some-depressing-facts/question-834733/ So the next time you get upset because somebody ate your lunch or cut you off in the freeway, you may want to step back and ask, “Is it really that...

The Worth of Mirth – Healing Power of Humor News

Interested in learning how humor helps improve your health? Dr. James Dillard writes about this and also provides tips on how to add more humor in your life. Finding the funny side of things might be more important to your health than you think. Researchers at the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center have shown that a lack of humor contributes to heart disease. Dillard refers to several studies in his latest article, and introduces readers to the field of psychoneuroimmunology — the study of how mental states affects our immune system. He also provides some good tips on how to take advantage of humor’s benefits. •?Make a list of your favorite comedians, and get their CDs. •?Rent fun movies, record TV comedy shows, and order the funniest Netflix. Listen to silly shows in the car, like NPR’s “Car Talk.” Find a way to have a good laugh every day. Checkout the original article to learn...