Body Mind Laughter and Mindfulness Therapy in Healthcare Sector
Laughter and Mindfulness Therapy along with play and rhythmic breathing is a wonderful and empowering tool to energise and promote wellness and well-being. It inspires individuals to embrace changes and challenges of life. As a tool, it also helps the cathartic release of negative emotions. By re-enforcing the importance of play, it reminds us to re-visit our lost playfulness and why we should not let play be eroded from our life as we grow by the day because in doing so it may hinder our intellectual growth and choices in life. Whereas the principles of mindfulness along with rhythmic breathing may help relax and bring calm within ourself to encourage clear thinking. So whether an individual is trying to build resilience, cope with stress, anxiety, pain, chronic long term condition or illness it may be a significant enhancement to their life. It is so versatile that it can be adjusted to meet most age range and abilities and it may also work for those who cannot participate in more strenuous activities. In some cases, it may even help for better adherence to medication and/or treatment.
Laughter therapy may equally be useful for the physical, mental and spiritual wellness of the healthcare staff as a way of assisting them to embrace and overcome emotional toll in their effort to deliver patient satisfaction. This may also be a helpful devise to team working while also addressing their and general wellbeing.
The healing properties of laughter have been known since the beginning of time. Dr Hunter (Patch) Adams, founder and director of the Gesundheit Institute, believes humour and play are essential to physical and emotional health and introduced care clowns in hospitals. This along with findings from numerous research linked with its benefits further supports the reasons for injecting more laughter into the daily lives of those within the healthcare environment.
Nobel Prize winner (twice in the field of medicine) Dr Otto Warburg showed the strong connection of oxygen in the cells to health. He said “we fall sick due to lack of oxygen in our body cells. The lack of oxygen is due to poor breathing habits caused by stress and negative mindset. This causes us to breathe shallow, irregular breaths and hold our breath when under stress”
When people are faced with coping/fighting any serious illness it is not a laughing matter and it can be tough in trying to deal with it day to day. At that time individuals do however have a choice of either being depressed and miserable about it or try and find a way to better cope with it. For example by nurturing laughter and mindfulness as a coping mechanism that may even make them feel more energetic and find a way of appreciating little things in life that bring joy. Rekindling joyful moments may also help bring positive physiological and psychological changes in the body that in turn may help raise pain tolerance, counter stress and encourage positive outlook to life.
For others it may be that they are in need of more positive human contact and are craving to laugh in the company of other people and to express their emotions. Laughter can serve for more than just its health benefits because sharing laughter can be cathartic too in releasing pent up emotions.
Laughter Yoga, founded by Dr Kataria (an Indian Physician), wanted to prescribe laughter to his patients and everyone who needed it. His dream was to come up with something that was a fun, easy and healthy way of making the world a better place for all. And though it cannot replace conventional treatment and therapies it may help on the road to recovery.
Cancer Hospitals in some countries have already started seeing the benefits of Laughter and Mindfulness based exercises and provide regular therapy for the cancer patients including those whilst receiving chemotherapy treatment. It seems to create a positive attitude in these patients that can help them receive chemotherapy better and may even help with the recovery process too. Furthermore the doctors and medical staff are so convinced that they too are doing it.
NB: It should be noted here that Laughter Yoga is a method of coping and not a cure.
Laughter has a capacity to boost endorphins to help manage our pain better according to the study led by Professor Robin Dunbar from Oxford University.
The study suggests having a good laugh really does help with pain. This research team found that when we laugh properly; a good belly laughter where we feel physically exhausted, it releases a trigger for our brain to release the protective endorphins. These endorphins, produced in the brain help better manage pain and promote feelings of wellbeing.
Persistent and chronic pain can be difficult for the individuals, not only for the severity of its cause but also for its coping method. And though there are many treatments available to manage pain it may have a different effect on individuals; yet sometimes lack a cure to “lift” the chronic pain for others. In such scenario it may be worth considering a change in the lifestyle with enough sleep, a good diet in place and finding ways of adding more laughter to help improve the quality of life. This may not only help with lowering stress levels but may also help better manage the pain.
Laughter and mindfulness based therapy may help to subside pain and promote physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits to those wanting to try a different method of pain management.
When Stressed or Feeling Low
People these days are under a lot of pressure trying to keep up with such a fast pace of life. If we just take a moment or so to re-assess, it will soon become apparent that time is constant; we cannot stop, rewind or replay. However we can do something in the present to find ways of making changes. For example by finding the courage to listen to our hearts and learning to make a commitment to ourselves to focus on all the little things in life that bring joy, can help us to start appreciating life again. From my personal experience I found that when we change our focus we are more likely to find a positive change in our attitudes and therefore in our lives too.
We may be able to offer a variety of ways to incorporate Laughter Therapy into various settings. To discuss how these sessions can assist within your organisation please contact us Mob: 07736158352 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.