Laughter may not be the most scientific alternative, yet it has proved to be a great exercise to ease pain and provide respite from arthritis stress. This was recently proved in Hong Kong when Felice Liu Hoi-ting conducted a laughter session for rheumatic patients.
At the age of 13, Liu was diagnosed with a kind of inflammatory arthritis, which forced her to take a year off from school. She had to use a walking stick and became dependent on her mother for all her daily needs. The disease made her feel so lonely and miserable that she even contemplated suicide.
Lius case was not unusual among the 20,000 to 30,000 people in Hong Kong who suffer from various kinds of rheumatism, muscle disease, joint disease and problems in their immune system. These patients face a lot of psychological and social problems, such as depression and anxiety, as they suffer from pain that affects their mobility. This is where Laughter Yoga is an ideal solution. It not only reduces pain; it strengthens the immune system, alleviates depression by changing the mood state and generates a feeling of well being.
Laughter Yoga not only helps release mental stress, but also encourages people to do exercises that improve the joints and limb movements. It provides a complete massage of all mid-body organs and improves circulation. The combination of natural pain killers with movements in laughter exercises makes it a powerful tool for physiotherapy. Most importantly, Laughter Yoga helps to build strong connections with others facing similar problems, thereby generating a feeling of acceptance and understanding.