Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter Yoga with seniors

there is often the best medicine so Melbourne researchers are trying to harness the therapeutic power of laughter to help the elderly I'm with latrobe University's Roz Benmosche and julie ellis who have been running trial classes and laughter yoga in rest homes rose water is laughter yoga it is the facilitation laughter exercises so you basically you start with it a simulated love and then in the group everybody does that laughs 90 degrees and nothing together so you sort of taking the humor out and you're just working with with the actual lives and how if the class has been working here in rosanna well initially we ran a six-week pilot and it was for half an hour once a week and then from there the the lifestyle stuff actually took it on and they were running regular classes and and actually now they're they're sort of slaughtering them in as part of an exercise program which has been fantastic to see Julie what are the benefits of laughter yoga for the elderly so the benefits of life together it improves their immune function it increases mood and happiness I oxygenation was an editor how do you measure those benefit ok so in our study we measured them with questionnaires and we used a mood questionnaire and a happiness questioning and we also took people's blood pressure and to measure any changes and with those changes quite dramatic yes they were that there were very dramatic changes in the mood so the mood lifted enormously and the happiness measures increased and the blood pressure is decreased for these participants and rules how often do you have to laugh it to be beneficial in the situation they say 10 to 15 minutes a day so and in fact they say that 10 minutes of laughter is equivalent to a half-hour jog and you actually feel it when you're laughing it's you really do get that aerobic workout so you're about 10 or so minutes a day would be brilliant it does fake love to have the same effect it does because it's the physical mechanism of laughter but it's amazing just by adding a smile to that laughter or in a group context how the laughter becomes real in no time at all so even if the if it does start off fake it becomes it becomes real with all those wonderful health benefits how powerful do you think laughter is oh I think it's very powerful you you see that you see the residents come in in the morning and there you know they look just normal they go out there just about skipping out of the room by the end of the session so I think it's very careful have you learned any good jokes I need you particularly funny moments you've been working on this project well I suppose there was one time when I turned up to run the training program for staff and I was sitting there with a room of various you know lifestyle staff and and somebody just essentially they walked past me and then they started talking uh sort of thinking who are you and it's like well hi naam husband my sugar life do versus it they said what we were expecting some fat y'all I think II understand its laughter yoga but I'm no fat yogi yeah was there anything else and just the contagiousness of the laughter when people just can't stop it's been that's been amazing you know that's been good yes I certainly felt that in the class I got the giggles even though nothing particularly funny happened and the researchers are looking for more funding so they can expand the project and spread some more tea and rest homes around Melbourne

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