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Yoga instructor proves a case of the giggles can improve your health

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:34:03 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 09 2013 07:17:32 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Is laughter really the best medicine?

Science has proven a case of the giggles can actually improve your health.

The idea began in 1995 in Mumbai, India. Now it's a concept that's spreading to 65 different countries.

Laughter Yoga instructor, Carla Brown, was in Abilene this week to offer seniors at the Wesley Court Senior Living Facility a lesson in laughter.

What's this laughter yoga all about?

"It's actually laughing for no reason, for the health benefits, and eventually, for the sense of peace and calm and relaxation that it brings our bodies and minds," Brown said.

Here are the facts on the benefits of laughter:

1. It supplies more oxygen to the brain and body

2. It lowers blood pressure

3. It decreases insomnia and depression

4. Laughter gives you more energy

5. It can block pain receptors

Brown's two-day workshop will certify 11 locals to become laughter yoga teachers in Abilene.

"My hope is that these 11 students that are going to go out into Abilene are going to help create a ripple of laughter so that everyone can be a little kinder and nicer and feel better at the end of the day," Brown said.

So, why is laughter the best medicine?

"The different laughter exercises that we do help us to meet the stress of daily life and so we feel better afterwards and we're laughing and it doesn't matter why we're stressed out," Brown said.

"Connecting with one another and through the eye-contact that we have, the child-like playfulness...we might start out sort of faking the laughter, but pretty soon, it becomes real and contagious," she said.

According to Brown, laughing produces endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline, among many others. These are all chemicals that make us feel better.

Here are the facts on how you can join in on the fun.

Laughter yoga sessions will begin next week at Wesley Court Retirement Community Center. You can contact them at 325-437-1184.

Classes will also be at the Mesa Springs Retirement Community Center, the Abilene State Supported Living Center and West Central Texas Council of Governments