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Introduction for Dr. Madan Kataria

Presented at the Conference of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
Orlando, Florida USA April 9, 2011
written and presented by Jeffrey Briar

A small farming village in northern India.
When Misses Raj Karni Kataria gave birth to her eighth child, she had a dream for him: that, unlike her other children, he would go to college, become a physician, and return to the village so the community might have a medical doctor in their midst. At the time of Madan Kataria’s birth (the mid 1950s), if a member of the community fell dangerously ill or suffered a serious injury, they had to travel or be transported thirty miles to the nearest doctor.
He completed his medical studies, began a bustling and stressful practice in the city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay); and in 1995 developed Laughter Yoga, an innovative new concept whereby anyone can laugh, for a prolonged period of time, without needing to rely on jokes, comedy or even having a sense of humor. Engaging in this form of laughter, anyone can achieve laughter’s numerous health benefits.
By devising this system of laughter without needing to rely on jokes nor even “feeling good” as a prerequisite, we now have a reliable technique for the delivery of the therapeutic benefits of laughter, on demand. We might go so far as to say that Doctor Kataria has liberated laughter from the iron grip of the critical mind.
Instead of returning to his village to become the resident healer for two hundred friends and neighbors, Doctor Kataria has taken on the task of healing the billions and billions of residents of this island, Earth, and transforming all of us into neighborly friends.
Please welcome Doctor Madan Kataria.