Researchers according to their new study,observed that laughter is best medicine to good health. Laughter clubs first started in the country in Mumbai in 1995 by Madan Kataria, a doctor, has made inroads into cities and towns in the State. Laughter is believed to be the best medicine for many tension-related ailments besides helping man keep his body and mind active. Laughter clubs not only teach "different kinds of laughter" but also physical exercises and deep breathing,says L.B.Neelakantaiah, founder and chief anchor of six laughter clubs in Chitradurga.
The clubs started by him in April last have attracted a large number of middle-aged women and men. One need not pay any fee to join these clubs. Besides the nearly 200 permanent members, these clubs had ``floating members'', Mr. Neelakantaiah, a former District Commandant of Home Guards, told The Hindu. The members of these clubs begin their activities in different places early in the morning. They form a circle or semi circle in an open field before beginning their exercises. Women have formed a club called ``Sahana'' in Chandravalli here. With the "Greeting laughter", "Ho... ho... hah... hah... hah,'' they chant "Omkara'' three times and take a deep abdominal breath (Sukha Prana).
Then, they make a mental pledge: "I will not get angry and provoke others to become angry. I will keep smiling through the day and pray to the Almighty, Nature and my ancestors for good health and a peaceful life.'' After "alternate nostril breathing," "side breathing," "chest massage" and "vertical breathing," follow different kinds of laughter. They include "Flying bird laughter," "Lion laughter," "Pigeon laughter," "Chinese and Japanese laughter," "Mobile laughter," "Three-in-one laughter," "Ashirwad laughter," "Kanjoos laughter," "Finger tips laughter," "Guru laughter," "Anandamaya laughter," "Flower and chocolate shower laughter," "Spring doll laughter," "Gradient laugher," "Earth to heaven laughter," "Alphabetical laughter" etc.
The members also practise ``Bhramari'' (humming), "lip exercises" and walking exercises such as "Catwalk," "Charlie Chaplin walk" and walking on heels and toes. At the end of the practise session, they share jokes. The members of the six clubs come together on the last Sunday of every month. In such a gathering here a week ago, some participants claimed that their activities had helped them control blood pressure and asthma. While two women claimed that they had been cured of Spondylitis, some said that they had been relieved of headache.
Ulcer and asthma are born out of tension. When mind and body are relieved of tension (by laughter) naturally the severity of such diseases come down, a leading physician and cardiologist in the city has said. Dr. Kataria's book on ``Laughter therapy and clubs'' says that research has revealed that laughter increases resistance power by increasing ``Lymphocytes'' in the body. ``Lymphocytes'' are responsible for increasing the body's immune power. The book says that snoring is caused by illness of the soft pallet in the throat.
As laughter provides enough exercise to the soft pallet, it helps control snoring. The book says that when a person laughs the cortex of the brain becomes active. This part sends happiness signals and feelings to the body. Laughter can only provide good exercise to facial muscles. It increases oxygen level in the body and releases more Endorphin hormones (feel good hormones). Laughter provides good exercise to the viscera and increases the food absorption capacity of the body. But there is a word of caution. Persons suffering from hernia, piles, flu and severe cold should not practise ``laughter therapy'' till they are cured of the disease. Pregnant women are advised to avoid the therapy as it could lead to miscarriage.