Laughter is a universal language that transcends all cultures. As a sustained aria is to a shivering chandelier, so do laughter's loud gales compel communication barriers to simply disintegrate. It opens doorways through which we discover our commonality and connectivity with others. It is virus-like, in that it replicates and rapidly spreads itself - inoculating humankind against the ravages of its own fertile imagination. It triggers in many of us the giggle-etched memories of our early childhood.
Each indulgence serves to remind us of the treasure that resides within each of us, those golden nuggets sated full with the essence of the happiness that is our birthright. We have only to release ourselves from our own conditioned repression that has caused laughter to become a mostly hidden emotion, just when we need it the most.
Today, evidenced-based studies provide further credence to what we innately and anecdotally have forever known - that belly laughter just feels so damn good! I would dare to almost compare it to the panacea that chicken soup claims for itself, only laughter is definitely vegan friendly. It's a cardiac workout, an immune builder, a muscle relaxant. It causes the reduction in blood sugar and blood pressure, it provides an internal organ massage, it causes a 20 percent increase in blood flow through the blood vessels, it's a great antidote to depression, it provides improved gas exchange in our lungs, it brings 6 times the amount of oxygen to the brain than otherwise - and it can provide amelioration from pain. And that's not all! I would even make a case for the possibility that the benefits may even cross the placenta/blood barrier during pregnancy - a legacy for the next generation.
"Even if laughter was nothing more than sheer silliness and fun, it would still be a precious boon. But we now know that it is far more than that, that it is, in fact, an essential element in emotional health" - Comedian, Steve Allen
NOT ANOTHER DISEASE!
If the essence of belly laughter could be distilled down into capsule form, approved by Health Canada or the FDA, packaged, patented, and marketed for sale, don't you know that it would be the hottest selling wellness enhancing and mood altering drug available on the druggists' shelves? You bet! Make it a fashionable disease, like 'GERDS', gastro-esophageal reflux disease (heartburn, by any pother name), only list it in the medical compendium of diagnoses, and refer to the indication as LDD - that is, 'Laughter Deficit Disorder'. The hordes will flock!
POP! POP! FIZZ! FIZZ!
Now have a look in the mirror when you've achieved 'full-body-regaling laughter'. The face contorts, the eyes narrow and copious tears roll off your cheeks. The multitude of facial muscles that you might not otherwise use is fully engaged. The throat, the chest, the abdomen, and the head cavity, all conspire to produce a cacophony of alternating sounds, in various pitches and ranges. You are roaring like a lion - sometimes drooling. Both hands are now variously gesticulating wildly, and then clapping in utter disbelief at how childlike you can actually be. Your moments of consciousness are spent in incredulity. Your face disappears from the mirror's view as you become almost achingly bent over with absolute hilarity - now slapping one knee and then the other. You are absolutely gasping now, almost begging yourself for some release from this self-imposed mayhem. The stitch-like feelings in your sides are seemingly bursting. If you haven't been stomping your feet, it's only because you've already collapsed on either the sofa or the floor. It's left you wondering - 'Why have I waited so long since the last time I did this?', and 'How can I make this happen more often?'
A LAUGHTER LIFE-STYLE CHANGE
But wait! Laughter is ours! It's free! We carry its seeds and potential and its redeeming benefits wherever we go. Wherever we go, there it is. There are jokes, situation comedies, movies, plays, and stand up performers - all sources of humor. But jokes go stale, situation comedies are situational, movies and plays attract particular audiences, and comedy clubs come with a price. Laughter FitZ on the other hand, is the purveyor of non-humor-based belly laughter. When laughter is too important to leave to chance and the signs of the early onset of LDD are present and becoming ominous, Laughter FitZ can provide the tonic. Laughter is not intended to be rationed or limited by having to wait for something special to laugh at.
THE CHA-CHA OF LAUGHTER
Non-humor-based laughter has to do with intentionality. It's like living your life like you really mean it! Laughter FitZ is comprised of a series of laughter-accompanied movements, because movement helps us to feel good. We learn to breathe, to laugh, to move, to revel in our new found ability to be more fully present with our frolicking moments. The experience is suited for all ages, genders, demographics and most physical conditions. It's portable, renewable, affordable, organic, and most important - undeniably enjoyable.
You can cackle and chortle and even snortle, and soon enough the entire room is consumed with the sounds and motions of people at their silliest. It builds teams, it helps launch creative thoughts, it energizes, and it helps focus. Laughter FitZ is not designed simply as an approach to a laughter diet, but more so as a program for laughter life-style changes. It is so much about giving ourselves the abandoning freedom, to participate in a fun series of belly-laughter exercises - that form a prescriptive recipe for well being - physical, emotional, mental & spiritual.
- Arnie Allice ©
arnie AT laughterfitz.com
The Laughter FitZ program has been adapted for the workplace, by a health care professional with both an institutional and corporate work background - and is designed especially for those who believe that having fun and taking one's life and work seriously are not mutually exclusive - but rather a part of positive synergy.