Laughter Yoga leader and teacher Deb Whittaker takes her laughter club to bubbling heights at the Denver Botanic Garden early Tuesday morning, December 28, 2010. Laughter yoga is based on the idea that the body cannot tell the difference between fake and real laughter, the physiological benefits are identical. Whittaker combines spontaneous laughter with yogi breathing and stretching to stimulate oxygen flow throughout the body. Laughter yoga is said to relieve stress and depression and increase endorphins. Video by Mahala Gaylord
A new drug “Neurodex” created by Avanir Pharmaceutical addresses a newly created disorder called “Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder” (this is when patients find themselves laughing uncontrollably at something that is only moderately humorous, being unable to stop themselves for several minutes.)
At the beginning, I felt silly, but then I forgot about my pain,” says Mund, 85, who has osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure and circulatory problems. “You look around and see everybody laughing and smiling. It’s a lot of fun.