An American Psychiatrist endorses laughter yoga as a valid form of complementary therapy for people suffering from depression:
Laughter yoga is a valid complementary therapy for Depression. The psychiatrist of Tanaz Bamboat was amazed by her response to bipolar depression. After Initial scepticism he is totally convinced Laughter Yoga did it for her.
Here is what he said:
“As a psychiatrist, in Michigan City, Indiana, I have something to say about Laughter Yoga and how it helps patients with depression and bipolar depression. I have learnt about Laughter Yoga from Tanaz – I had no idea what that was, and at first, probably, like all practitioners, I thought it was just a nice thing to do. But, then I heard about it from Dr. Pink in his book called ‘The Right Brain Function’ in which he wrote that you could change your brain chemistry by using laughter as a treatment. This was a striking idea and I began to look more into it because we have upto 10 percent of people suffering from severe depression in this country. Though we have medications that help and shock treatment that helps but we still have patients who do not stay well and need something additional to reach that level of wellness, be happy, feel well rather than just stay on medication or have their illness under control.
Therapy does help a lot, but Laughter Yoga turned out to be a very interesting way of changing brain chemistry. I have seen it with Tanaz and how it helped her to recover. The frequency of her relapses decreased after she started doing Laughter Yoga, her level of wellness, when she was in between episodes, was tremendous and her response to medicine greatly improved once she delved into Laughter Yoga. I was so impressed that I referred my patients to her.
The research seems to show that the place where laughter helps in the brain, where laughter happens in the brain, the surprise element of the joke, the movement of the facial muscles and the realization that something different is happening in the brain, all happens in areas like in the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe which are the same areas where we are doing all the research on depression. Now, it makes more sense that physiologically using a functional MRI you can see the same areas of the brain being affected by laughter that are affected by medication and illness.
There is a very big hope that indeed Laughter Yoga will make a very big difference. I would like to encourage people to try it out and hope there are more Laughter Clubs and more benefits for the people.”