Lebanon is a country rife with insurgency and overflowing with Syrian refugees and border troubles. Laughter isnt exactly on their list. But Laughter Yoga practitioner Liliane Akiki has made it her mission to bring smiles to the people of Lebanon.
She conducts laughter sessions for adolescent Syrian refugees living in camps and dealing with extreme loss. It helps them unleash their laughter after being so busy dealing with sorrow and tears, says Akiki. Participants find the practice of clapping hands, deep breathing, and making eye contact easy to pick up and they love doing deep belly laughs, which are very relaxing.
Laughter is a great way to communicate says Akiki, who lived through Lebanons civil war and discovered Laughter Yoga while working as a physiotherapist. After training as a laughter leader, she helped people to alleviate their pain, trauma and feel more peaceful by doing laughter exercises and deep breathing.
Though it is a new concept for Lebanon, Akiki hopes that more people will appreciate the benefits of laughter and is hoping to get the practice worldwide recognition for its therapeutic benefits.