More than 70 percent of the 30 cancer patients in Taichung Hospital reported improvements in their problems with sleeping, pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression after taking a one hour Laughter Yoga session every week for two months.
Liao Chih-Ying director of the hospital’s radiation oncology department, who introduced Laughter Yoga to the hospital in October last year, said most cancer patients experience different degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder. Laughter Yoga leads to the release of endorphins that helps relieve stress, improve their mood and immune system, and even prevent the recurrence and spread of cancer, he added.
A 48-year-old woman underwent surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, losing about 10kg in six months because of the side effects of the treatment. She often locked herself in a room crying, throwing things around, slamming her body against the wall and collected sleeping pills as she contemplated suicide.
When the hospital’s volunteers invited her to attend the Laughter Yoga class, she could not laugh at all at first. However, by starting first with fake laughs, playing games and practicing meditation, she was able to laugh from the heart during the second class and gradually laughed harder, regained her appetite and continues practicing at home. She imagined her body completely recovered, read jokes on the Internet and has become truly happy, always greeting people with a smile. Laughter Yoga has helped improved her relationship with her family and has turned her life around.
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