Victims of a fire in Quezon City got over their loss and fear by taking Laughter Yoga sessions as part of the psychological intervention program to help them get back on their feet and rebuild their lives after a fire took everything they had on New Years Day.
Gloria Napocao and Linda Roque, two women in their late 60s were among the 4,000 families of Kaingin Bukid compound who were left homeless when the fire razed the impoverished community. They were among dozens of eager residents who joined the laughter sessions led by Pinoy Laughter Yoga founder Paolo Trinidad.
This [laughter exercise] is good for the body. It energizes me, Napocao said. There are those who are younger than us who choose to sulk, like theyve already lost hope. We dont because we want to live long lives, Napocao said with a laugh.
Laughter exercises could be used in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or as a means for hopeless cases to cope. According to Trinidad, he has used Laughter Yoga as a form of therapy for survivors of Super typhoon Yolanda, for displaced residents during the Zamboanga siege as well as prisoners or those suffering from terminal illnesses and depression. When they laugh, you see the effect: Theyre more relaxed. Laughing brings them back to the present moment, he said.
Other residents also felt that laughter therapy was a great way to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. It helped them to cope with the difficult times with a smile and get back their confidence and joy.