By Jan MacQuarrie (Canada): I have just had abdominal surgery (three incisions) and made the most of what I have learned from laughter yoga to prepare and heal from this event. I had fun doing it!
- I blew up balloons for two weeks ahead to strengthen my lungs and abdomen and practiced laughing.
- I practiced the laughter yoga ho ho ha ha ha laughter exercise and “very good, very good, yeah!” in the prep room for a full 1.5h before the surgery
- I asked for my own music to be played during surgery and asked the surgeon, anaesthetist and two O.R. nurses to laugh along with me while I went under, which they kindly did.
- I also wrote funny notes on my gown ahead to keep the atmosphere light, like “for awhile we are journeying together so one of us must stay awake” and on my chest “I like to keep abreast of things – do not remove this part!“
My husband David said I woke up with a smile on my face.
I was in the hospital for 24 more hours and did not use pain killers.
On day 2 after the surgery I stayed quiet at home.
On day 3 I went to buy a new computer.
On day 5 I rode a horse.
4 things that have helped me greatly:
- To know I was sore not ill made a big difference. People often mistake the two.
- Breathing deeply before and after the surgery.
- Laughing before and after (gently), even though my muscles were sore.
- Stretching exercises two days later increasing stretch gradually each day (by day 4 I was doing the same exercises as before the surgery, only slower.