I am so very excited that The Happydemic has been invited to be part of Diversional and Recreational Therapists Australia’s national conference in a few days’ time, presenting laughter yoga amid a smorgasbord of engaging new activities these lifestyle-enhancing professionals will be considering taking on board.
Diversional and recreational therapists (colloquially known as DTs) work in such diverse environments and fields:
- rehabilitation and hospital units
- community centres
- day and respite services
- aged care residential facilities
- ethnic specific services
- palliative care units
- mental health services
- disability services
- outdoor recreation camps
- correctional centres.
Such diversity thrills me which is probably why I was bitten by the ‘laughter yoga bug’ so badly because, from my perspective:
- Laughter yoga is accessible.
- Laughter yoga is adaptable.
- Laughter yoga is universal.
DTs develop and deliver activity programs that support challenges, promote client self-esteem, and boost individuals’ wellbeing physically, emotionally, psychologically socially and spiritually.
Laughter yoga ticks all those boxes.
Laughter yoga with its unique combination of deep restorative yoga breaths and playful simulated laughter exercises is engaging.
Exercises can be adapted according to individuals’ abilities—done standing or seated, for example.
Jokes, humour and comedy are not involved, removing the intellectualisation of something being ‘funny’ or not (a positive for those with intellectual and memory impairment). Jokes, comedy and humour can be very personal too. What is ‘funny’ to one person may offend another.
But laughing for laughing’s sake – as an exercise, as Laughter Yoga – now that is universal.
Laughter is within us all. We too often leave its expression to chance – and that does our wellbeing a serious disservice.
I’m really hopeful diversional and recreational therapists of Australia get such a dose of the giggles that they can’t help but share this fun, enriching and accessible wellbeing activity.
(c) Heather Joy Campbell 2017
Founder of The Happydemic, Heather Joy Campbell is a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and Laughter Ambassador
based in Brisbane, Australia, who delivers professional laughter wellbeing workshops, seminars and laughter leader training across Queensland. She also runs a weekly suburban laughter club.