New club highlights the benefits of laughter - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Entertainment

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

New club highlights the benefits of laughter

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:00 pm

By definition, laughter is an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement, but the members of Laurie's Laughoholic Club know that it is much more than that.

Reasons to laugh   • Strengthen your immune system. • Make your cheeks sore.

• Enhance your cardiovascular flexibility.

• Increase your spirit quotient.

• Think more clearly.

• Put a devilish twinkle in your eye.

• Increase your intellectual performance and information retention.

• Forget what you were laughing about.

• Replenish your creative juices.

• Destroy your conservative reputation.

• "Pop" yourself out of emotional ruts.

• Dampen your undergarments.

• Release and transform your emotional pain.

• Develop abdominal muscles of steel.

• Rebalance the chemistry of your stress and tension.

• Create stress and tension in others.

• Create perspective and remind yourself of the bigger picture.

• Wonder why you wasted all those years being serious.

• Experience a deep connection with other human beings.

• Confuse and confound family and friends.

• Draw yourself in to experiencing the present.

• Help yourself live and die, laughing.

• Join a growing group of giggling gurus.

From Dr. Goodheart

Laurie's Laughoholic Club is one of thousands of laugh clubs around the world that are part of a global organization called Laughter Yoga, which was founded in India in 1995 by Dr. Medan Kataria. A psychologist by the name of Steve Wilson traveled to India to study the organization and brought it to America, calling it the World Laughter Tour."> CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO Certified Laughter Leader Laurie Nathanson first heard about Laughter Yoga from her yoga instructor.

"It's really a form of yoga because it's body, spirit and mind," Nathanson said.

She started the free, all-ages laughter club in April 2008, two weeks after her mother died suddenly.

"Personally, it saved me from slipping into a deep, dark depression," said Nathanson, who has been running the club ever since.

Laurie's Laughoholic Club went on its first outing May 23 to The Clean Comedy Show at the Grace Inn, but the club's main events are its meetings. They are held on the first Sunday of every month at the fire station at 4110 E. Chandler Blvd. from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The meetings include stretching, deep breathing and, of course, laughing.

The laughing exercises usually include improvisations, which can be anything from making funny faces to waddling like penguins. Nathanson prefers improvisations rather than jokes because "not everybody has the same sense of humor."

She described laughter as "internal jogging" and "an addiction that is good for your health." One of her many regular club members, Laura Smitherman, was diagnosed with Stage Four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 23 years ago. She used laughter to help with her healing process.

"Being able to laugh about things really helped me get through it," Smitherman said. "People don't realize how their emotions affect their immune system."

Nathanson said even faking a laugh can lead to the same beneficial results.

"Your mind and your body will respond to fake laughter the same as real laughter," she said. "It is contagious. You want to catch this thing."

Laughter can give people the chance to feel like children again, and help them relieve their stress and stay sane, Nathanson added.

She hopes everyone who attends a meeting will be able to "try to find the funny side of life."


Christina O'Haver is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

The Noise Addicts of New York City: Best #Cityreads of the Week

“Noise is a Drug and New York is Full of Addicts,” Susie Neilson, Nautilus As soon as the door slams, I slide to the floor in a cross-legged p…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 10:19 am @…

Space Standoff: The next Cold War is already playing out right above our heads

There’s a cold war in space and virtually no one knows about it. Right now, miles above your head, there are fleets of robotic, weaponized sat…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 10:18 am @…

Mesa Mountain View's Hodges Commits to Sun Devils

The good times continue to role for Arizona State this offseason from a recruiting stand point as the Sun Devils have added another local pros…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 9:46 am @…

Matt Damon's Company Takes Steps to Address Hollywood's Diversity Crisis

Print 'Black-ish, Other Contenders Could Signal Emmy Diversity Oscars Organizers' Invitation to New Members Reflects Diversity Push Oscar Winn…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 9:17 am @…

Ballot measures explode across country

By Reid Wilson - Supporters of a California ballot measure to raise state taxes on cigarettes have collected more than $16 million in nine mon…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:48 am @…

Which Pet Care Providers Should You Tip? And How Much?

I’m a dog sitter. Just this morning, a very well-behaved and loving Lab was picked up. He’s a regular client, and, like always, his dad slippe…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:46 am @…

Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Sues Arizona to Stop State From Defunding It

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are fighting back against another state law that could take taxpayer dollars away fr…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:45 am @…

Hyundai updates '17 Tucson with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, upgraded interior

Hyundai's popular Tucson was just redesigned last year, but already the Korean automaker is enhancing the crossover's interior for 2017. Headl…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:24 am @…

Monday is deadline to register to vote in Arizona primary

Monday is the last day to register to vote in Arizona's Aug. 30 primary election. Locations where citizens can register in person include coun…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:15 am @…

UN "Human Rights" Agitator Invited By Obama

After seventeen days of touring the United States, talking to racist agitators, including affiliates of the infamous Black Lives Matter, about…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 7:48 am @…

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll