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Laughter Yoga in hospital

imgp6520-1 Isabel Fernandez: Laughter Yoga Teacher and nurse in Brussels (CHU Brugmann), I opened the first "Laughter Yoga group" in Cardiac and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation in October 2015. One year later there are three more groups: two in psychiatry (general and addictology) and one in Neurologic Rehabilitation.

The picture has been taken this summer in the park of the hospital, with the group of Neurology, were we enjoyed laughing and playing with water. It was a wonderful experience for all us, patients and caregivers.

In one year Laughter Yoga has changed the life in the above care units, bringing more joy, playfulness and laughter!

To give you an idea: between October 2015 and August 2016, I gave 57 sessions, 225 patients and more than 80 caregivers attended the sessions at least once.

In the beginning, it was decided with the doctors to evaluate in June 2016 the effectiveness and usefulness of Laughter Yoga and then, to decide whether or not we will continue. In June it was clear that it was impossible to stop the sessions!
There was no break this summer. As patients said: "We are staying here this summer and you are working so: why do you want Laughter Yoga "to go on holiday?"…what did you want me to answer to this ??

The contribution of Laughter Yoga is enormous, among others:
– it creates links between people
– it helps patients to recover physically and mentally
– it gives people (patients and caregivers) self-confidence
– it helps caregivers of different discipline to work together and to communicate. In each care unit I work with one or several caregivers and we invite one or two more to participate. Each discipline already participated: nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists.
Laughing with somenone changes the relationship for ever !
– it gives me, as a nurse, the opportunity to work hand in hand with others, overall with occupational therapists. Althought I knew it, I experienced how much we were complementary ! Laughter Yoga allowed us to create links between our different disciplines
– students are contacting me to come to discover what we are doing in our hospital

Today, one year later, we are studying the possibility to open two new groups. It should be for ambulatory patients.

As I said, in Laughter Yoga everything is possible, even in a hospital ! Playing with water or doing Basketball with patients in the dining room as well as shouting that "We are Wonderful ! " even when life seems so difficult.
We "just" need "to do it" !

From everybody here: THANK YOU Mr Kataria !!