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Is Laughter Yoga research really necessary? The answer is simple if we want to grow. Yes! Research can be done for many reasons. It may seek to prove or disprove what we already know, or to provide evidence of what we think we know. It can be used to get disbelievers and skeptics to think that they may be wrong, or that we may be right. Or, it can be used to provide knowledge and information to those who know little or nothing of what we do.

I have been involved in two university research studies in the past, am in the middle of another one now, and am about to embark on another before the end of this year. From my experience, I’d like to dispel some myths about setting up and conducting a research study. The reason that I’d like to do this is so we can get some more research studies underway to assist the growth of Laughter Yoga.

Here are 5 big myths about research studies…

  • “They cost a fortune!” It doesn’t have to. You can do one for nothing if you’re creative.
  • “Research has to be done over many years.” It doesn’t have to be. You can do one in a day if you want.
  • “Hundreds of people have to be involved.” Not necessarily. You can conduct research with just one person if you wish.
  • “Research must to be done by a university, and with professors.” It doesn’t have to be. You and your friends can do one.
  • “It has to be published in journals to be legitimate research.” It doesn’t have to be. You can write your own blog about it.

So here’s the catch. Suppose I was to get a one million dollar grant and conduct a research study over two years involving 1000 people. I would be ably assisted by a team from Harvard University and have the results published in every medical journal in the world. Would this research carry more weight than one done on a shoe string budget, involving only a few people over a week, overseen by a medical professional and written up in a simple newsletter? Well, yes. Does it make the findings any less true? Well no.

That’s the quirky thing about a research study. As soon as the results are made public there will be those who believe the findings and those who don’t. There will even be others who embark on another research study to disprove what you have just established. The fact is you will have a new audience available to you who weren’t there before. This is one powerful way that Laughter Yoga can grow.

So why is this a Business Tip? My own business has grown since being involved in these studies. By mentioning them in my BIO I get more opportunities to present. Additionally I can now increase my fee because people view me differently and as having more credentials. I am now more confident and convincing when discussing why people should use Laughter Yoga (and especially me) for their conference or workshops.

If you have any further questions about starting and doing a research study, please feel free to email me at mervneal@laughteryoga.org at anytime.