Tag Archives: breathing exercises

Laughter and music could lower blood pressure just as much as cutting salt

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan assigned 79 people between the ages of 40 and 74 to one of three groups. Thirty-two were assigned to a music group where they listened to music and sang with music therapists. Thirty participants participated in laughter yoga, which combines breathing exercises with laughter stimulated through playful eye contact, plus watched a traditional Japanese comedy show called Rakugo. Each session took place for one hour twice a week for three months. The remaining 17 were controls who neither listened to music nor participated in the laughter sessions.

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10 Academic Research on Laughter Yoga

This page is a summary of the 10 most relevant current academic research on Laughter Yoga specifically, known student thesis and private (not published) research projects that we currently know of:
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  1. Workplace Efficiency: Laughter Yoga Enhances employees morale, resilience, and personal efficacy beliefs. This study measured the impact of a purposeful aerobic laughter intervention on employees’ sense of self-efficacy in the workplace.
  2. Workplace Stress: The Efficacy of Laughter Yoga on IT Professionals to Overcome Professional Stress. This study measured the impact of  20-minute laugh-yoga sessions on 200 healthy normotensive IT call- center workers in Mumbai, India. (a parallel study to this one is ”
  3. Effects of laughter therapy on depression, cognition and sleep among the community-dwelling elderly. This study investigated the effects of laughter therapy on depression, cognitive function, quality of life, and sleep of the elderly in a community.
  4. Laughter Yoga versus group exercise program in elderly depressed women: a randomized controlled trial. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Kataria’s Laughter Yoga and group exercise therapy in decreasing depression and increasing life satisfaction in older adult women of a cultural community of Tehran, Iran.
  5. Bio Psycho-Social Impact of Laughter Therapy on Stroke Patients. The study comprised 120 laughter therapy sessions using various laughter techniques, pranayama (deep yogic breathing exercises) and cognitive restructuring conducted on stroke patients between the ages of 40 to 90 in the Verulam Frail Care Community. It was done by Dr. Gita Suraj Narayan, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Work and Community Development, University of Kwazulu-Natal.
  6. Laughter and music could lower your blood pressure. This one was done in Japan and published in 2011.
  7. Effects of a laughter and exercise program on physiological and psychological health among community-dwelling elderly in Japan: Randomized controlled trial
  8. Effect of Laughter Yoga on Mood and Heart Rate Variability in Patients Awaiting Organ Transplantation: A Pilot Study
  9. The psychological impact of Laughter Yoga: Measuring Wellbeing in Laughter Yoga Clubs across Victoria, Australia
  10. The psychological impact of Laughter Yoga: Findings from a one-­month Laughter Yoga program with a Melbourne Business.

Student Thesis

We have heard of PhD students doing their thesis on Laughter Yoga (yes, you can  get a Masters Degree or PhD in Laughter Therapy!)  but have been unable to make direct contact. If you know about this please let us know and we’ll be most happy to post the information here. One level down, here is a 60 pages thesis that Vasiliki Skrekou from Greece wrote for her Masters degree at the Center for Applied Psychology (John Moores University, Liverpool, UK) on the Effect of Laughter Yoga Practice on the lives of Laughter Yoga Professionals.

Unpublished Studies

We know of several individuals who have carried out their own Laughter Yoga research over the past decade, but since these have not been peer-reviewed and published in medical journals they remain within the field of empirical evidence.

[spoiler title=”The Copenhagen study in a computer business”] Thomas Flindt led a daily session of Laughter Yoga at the beginning of each work day throughout the month of May 2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the sales staff of a computer company. It showed clearly the effect that regular practice of Laughter Yoga has on stress levels.

The study was made using an AIR-PAS (Artificial Intelligence Respiratory-Psycho physiological Analysis System), developed by Mr. Bo von Scheele, Ph.D., the Psycho physiological Institute at Karolinska Institute Stockholm, Sweden, and conducted by Mr. Anders Lonedal.

A test group of four persons was randomly selected. The group was tested with the AIR-PAS at the start of the project, and consequently at the end of the same project. On an individual level, the results were remarkable. The body stress levels significantly reduced. The AIR-PAS test contributes also as an awareness raiser, that is, the individual becomes aware about how the body and mind interact. The importance of a correct breathing behavior was also highlighted. Laughter itself has a positive influence on the movement of the diaphragm, as well as the levels of stress hormones in the body.
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Laughter Yoga for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Depression Report on Delivery of Laughter Yoga for Day to Day Living in the Community (D2DL) Program at The Hut 104 Badajoz Road North Ryde NSW 2113, 3rd June – 28th October 2009

[divider top=”1″] If you want to conduct a study out of personal interest here are two forms that may be of use and value to you:

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Learn Laughter Yoga and Laughter Wellness online!

News: (Wisconsin, USA) New Yoga Fitness Trend Focuses on Laughter

“Laughter helps us get through life’s challenges,” said Kueny, wearing a jester hat and a laughter yoga jersey. “It has lots of great benefits. It helps to improve social connections. If you laugh with people, you instantly form a bond. And happy people are easier to get along with.” Mike Kueny has suffered from depression for 10 years but he still laughs nearly nonstop for 45 minutes every Sunday.
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News: Australians Say We Love Laughter Yoga!

Sydney, Australia:  I walked into my first laughter yoga class expecting to see a hippie in a tie dyed shirt and leggings. I did not expect my yoga teacher to be a lawyer. And I certainly didn’t expect to be rolling around on the floor laughing with a bunch of people I’d never met before. But that’s exactly what happened.

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CNN Asia: Groups in Mumbai take the old saying about laughter being the best medicine literally

This is a nervous stand-up comedian’s dream audience. Not only will they laugh at anything, apparently they will also laugh at absolutely nothing. Laughter yoga, yes seriously, has become a popular stressbuster worldwide. It originated in Mumbai with Dr Madan Kataria who combined breathing exercises from yoga with laughter. The premise is that laughter — spontaneous or contrived — releases endorphins in the body that relieve anxiety.
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