Laughter Yoga For Seniors

There is a rise in life expectancy due to advances in medical science and the population of senior citizens is likely to triple by the year 2020.  The family structure is crumbling and youngsters are steering away from parents, leaving them alone either in aged care facilities or old-age homes.  This leaves them prone to frequent bouts of depression that will often lead to a debilitating condition in the seniors.

Laughter Yoga could be the best medicine that can be prescribed for these seniors, to keep them in good cheer.  Hearty laughter will get rid of stress, worry and more importantly, depression.  The emotional core is touched and it alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation, and is good for their health, positive thoughts and reduces the negative strains

Laughter Yoga is a great therapeutic alternative that combines laughter exercises with yogic deep breathing, and gives a complete workout of wellness.  Many of our elderly people are suffering from a variety of diseases due to their reduced immunity and a life long of unhealthy habits.  Laughter brings several positive changes, even though not all diseases can be cured.  This instant stress buster helps to reduce risk factors for cardiac diseases arising from stress, helps to reduce blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels

The feeling of being useless after retirement is the biggest stressor for seniors and leads to major depression and mental agony.  Laughter Yoga is beneficial in a senior’s need of human contact, as they are missing the bonding of a family and need someone close with whom they can share their emotions.  Illness and lack of physical exercise causes stiffness of limbs and muscles that lead to immobility and aches and pains.  Laughter with deep diaphragmatic breathing are structured and a lot of fun that provides a genuine form of physical exercise.  Hearty laughter is known to increase muscle movement, mobility and boost the immune system while it increases disease fighting cells and proteins and triggers release of endorphins.

Seniors find their physical and mental facilities decrease and the degeneration of the brain cells makes it difficult for many to understand and organize facts.  Laughter Yoga is ideal for seniors to reap the scientifically proved benefits to improve their health and well-being.  It has also been proven that the reason of frequent sickness is because of a lack of oxygen in the body cells.  This exercise can help to attain good health by increasing their oxygen.  Those with chronic pain, migraines, headaches and asthma have found attacks to become less frequent and sometimes disappear completely when involved in the laughter clubs.

The social laughter clubs are a boon for the elderly.  Humans need to be happy and we all need a network of healthy emotional relationships with a group of people who care about us and that we care for.  Emotional networking will help to bring happiness not only to the elderly, but also to all of us.  Building a rapport by talking, listening and physically touching is beneficial to our seniors.  This gives our seniors the opportunity to confide their emotions and to express themselves freely.  This form of Laughter Yoga is simple, safe and provides a genuine form of physical exercise.  Can’t we do this much for all the loyal elderly people that devoted their lives to care for us?

Dr  Fredda Branyon