Screen Readers Skip to Content

Laughter Yoga - Good Medicine for Seniors

Published : 2012-11-18
Author : Disabled World

Synopsis* : Laughter Yoga helps with the ability to laugh without any reason as it uses laughter itself as a primary form of exercise.

Main Digest

The population of people who are over the age of 65 in the world is projected to triple from 516 million to 1.53 billion people by the year 2050. In America alone, the population of seniors might increase by as much as 40% in five years meaning spending on entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security will also increase rapidly.

Laughter Yoga - (Hasyayoga) - Combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Laughter Yoga brings more oxygen to the body and brain by incorporating yogic breathing which results in deep diaphragmatic breathing. Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.

The incredible growth of the senior population, along with increasing stress, time pressures and emotional wear has led to the erosion of family and social structures to a great extent, leaving a far larger population of seniors desiring emotional comfort and solace.

Seniors, in the west particularly, find themselves alone in either long-term care facilities or assisted living environments where they rarely laugh and smile. While they live with others like themselves with some sense of community, they still desire their family members. They are prone to frequent bouts of depression that many times lead to a debilitating condition. What they need is to talk with someone and friends to share their emotions with. Laughter has the potential to provide seniors with a greatly needed sense of fellowship and the ability to connect with others.

Seniors, who face age and related issues, may also find their physical and mental abilities decreasing. The ability to laugh is affected by conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other diseases. Degeneration of a person's brain cells makes it hard to understand and organize facts, let alone humor. Simple tasks become more difficult and a person's level of frustration rises. Humor is an intellectual phenomenon and seniors may find it hard to laugh at anything funny that requires cognitive abilities. Laughter Yoga helps with the ability to laugh without any reason because it uses laughter itself as a primary form of exercise. It is a physically oriented process that does not require a person to have any mental abilities and helps people to understand humor.

While not all diseases can be cured, laughter has the ability to bring about a number of positive changes. It reduces a person's risk factor for cardiac diseases, lowers a person's cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, and alleviates aches and pains causes by forms of arthritis. Due to a lack of proper breathing, many seniors do not get much oxygen, something that is the root cause of many ailments. Laughter provides exercise to a person's lungs and circulatory system and pushes their heart rate up to a level that is comparable to aerobic exercise. Laughter Yoga is excellent for seniors who do not have the ability to walk or do much physical exercise.

Laughter exercises may assist people to maintain high spirits and help them out of a depression. In India, most of the members of Laughter Clubs are over the age of 50 and have received significant benefits from regularly practicing laughter exercises. Along with physical exercise, the clubs have helped them to find social support and are great for their physical, mental and emotional well being.

Ways Laughter Yoga Helps with Factors Affecting Seniors

One of the factors affecting seniors is retirement. Many seniors feel they are not as useful after they have retired, leading to depression and mental agony. A lack of importance can create a sense of frustration and can prove to be extremely detrimental to a person's physical and mental health. Extended, hearty laughter helps people to reduce their stress level while generating a positive attitude. Laughing together in a group helps to boost the self-esteem of everyone involved while helping individuals overcome feelings of insecurity.

A lack of bonding is another factor affecting seniors and laughter yoga is particularly beneficial. Seniors are always in need of human contact. Even though most seniors have peers who are like-minded, many still miss bonding with their family members and need someone they can share their emotions with. Laughter Yoga sessions have the ability to reach beyond the healing of laughter itself. The effective network of caring and sharing relationships is the key to a healthy and happy life. Relationships with others become strong while feelings of loneliness disappear. Seniors enjoy the meetings and it creates a sense of belonging. Laughter Yoga has the ability to provide seniors with a needed sense of closeness to others.

Many seniors are affected by physical immobility. Some live a sedentary lifestyle, experience forms of illnesses, as well as a lack of physical exercise that can cause stiff muscles and limbs, leading to further immobility, aches and pains. Laughter exercises, combined with deep diaphragmatic breathing, are simple, structured and fun. The exercises are safe, easy to do and provide people with a genuine form of physical exercise. Despite any physical or cognitive limitations a person may experience, the exercises are appropriate for everyone. Laughter is known to increase a person's muscle movement, their mobility, as well as to boost a person's immune system. Laughter increases disease fighting proteins and cells while triggering the release of endorphins.

Seniors who are faced with age and age-related issues can find their physical and mental abilities decreasing. Certain disease such as Alzheimer's or dementia can find a person's ability to comprehend humor declining. Degeneration of a person's brain cells can make it hard to understand and organize fact and humor. Laughter yoga is ideal for seniors because it provides them with the ability to laugh without a reason. It helps people to be able to laugh and live a life filled with joy. Laughter Yoga each day increases a person's memory, thinking abilities, and intellectual capacity.

Studies have demonstrated that the reason people may experience frequent sickness is because they have a lack of oxygen in the cells of their body. Laughter Yoga and deep breathing help a person to attain good health by increasing their supply of oxygen. People involved with Laughter Yoga who experience migraine headaches, chronic pain, or asthma have found their health improving. A number of people involved with the exercises who experienced high blood pressure, severe spinal, neck, or shoulder issues or diabetes have also found their health improving. The same is true of people with anxiety, depression and chronic stress.

Social Laughter Clubs and Emotional Networking

The simple fact is that for a person to be happy they need a network of healthy emotional relationships with a group of people who care about them and for whom they care. Social Laughter Clubs have the ability to reach beyond the healing of laughter. The clubs provide people with an effective network of caring and sharing relationships that are the key to a healthy and happy life. Relationships with other people you laugh with on a regular basis become very strong.

Unfortunately for many seniors, modern day life does not include a network of caring and sharing relationships. The lack of two-way relationships and emotional dialog can leave people without, 'emotional grounding,' something that many times results in feelings of loneliness and isolation. The amount of time a person spends with others is not what matters, it is the quality of interaction with others that does. If there is a lack of warmth and friendliness it can lead to stress and anxiety. Laughter Clubs provide people with a rich social network of people who care about each other. Perhaps even more importantly, the clubs provide people with a way to get to know new people, providing a sense of emotional security that resists stress and depression, the number one thing affecting seniors today.

Laughter Yoga sessions are not simply about laughter, they involve creating a connection among people, and building a rapport through talking, listening and physical touch. Smiles go a long way towards establishing bonds with people who are in need of empathy and care. It helps to create a sense of belonging while generating a feeling of fraternity and closeness. Laughter Yoga sessions help people to share similar interests, instilling in them a sense of familiarity.

Laughing Yoga for Seniors

Laughing Yoga is a type of "well-being workout" designed by Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India.

Laughter Yoga for Seniors - A Life Changing Experience

Laughter yoga, a great therapeutic alternative that combines easy laughter exercises with Yogic deep breathing, is particularly well adapted to the needs of seniors.

Laughter For Seniors: A Boon For The Elderly

A good Hearty Laughter gets rid of stress, worry and depression. It touches the emotional core and alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation.

About the Author

Disabled World (Disabled-World.Com) is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news, assistive technology reviews, and disability sporting events, as well as general information for people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. Be sure to check out our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Related Yoga Documents

*Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. View our Advertising Policy for further information. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2012-11-18. Title: Laughter Yoga - Good Medicine for Seniors, Source: <a href=>Laughter Yoga - Good Medicine for Seniors</a>. Retrieved 2021-05-09, from - Reference: DW#240-9419.