Contrary to what is happening right now with the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s senior citizen population is projected to triple sometime this year.
Traditional family structures have evolved to the point that many elderly people end up alone in empty homes or senior care facilities. Being alone is not conducive to a healthy, happy lifestyle and certainly not one filled with joyous laughter.
The time-honored “laughter is the best medicine” adage has been part of our culture for generations, but did you know that laughing really is good for our health?
Experts studying human physiology confirm a good, hearty laugh reduces stress and boosts endorphins; the ideal recipe to better health and energy. Even better, laughing combined with exercise has the ability to improve common illnesses and reduce the risk for debilitating diseases from high blood pressure to heart disease.
What is Laughter Yoga?
Yoga as a practice is centuries old and steeped in fascinating history and tradition. However, a new form of the discipline does wonders for improving overall quality of life while easing stress and infusing happiness to a person’s life.
Laughter yoga is a real thing, introduced by an Indian doctor in 1995, and since exploding to mental health studies and “laughter clubs” all over the world.
Laughter yoga is a targeted exercise combining specific laughing “intervals” with deep breathing. It is simple to do, with an ideal balance of structure and entertainment. It’s also easy to do, safe, and offers legitimate exercise that can help people live longer, happier, healthier lives. It even burns calories!
How Does Laughter Yoga Work?
Laughter yoga works by increasing oxygen volume to the brain and boosting hormones including endorphins, our bodies’ natural feel-good chemical.
Sessions weave different types of laughter into stretching, balancing, and flexibility workouts. Participants everywhere laud the benefits of this fun-to-do routine and many exhibit much-improved health as a result.
For example, some seniors claim an increase in physical mobility, more flexible muscles, and a more robust immune system. Others enjoy a marked increase in emotional bonds with friends and family, and far fewer instances of depression or “sad” days.
Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Some of the unique benefits of laughter yoga include:
- Improved attitude to help manage challenging situations, negative environments, or discouraging people
- Improved quality of life through laughter’s positive energy, resulting in close connection with others
- More long-term laughing and better mood through the release of endorphins to the brain
- Laughter yoga’s cardio workout properties send more oxygen to the brain and inspires full-body relaxation and more energy
- More oxygen to the body’s cells helps overall health and mitigates chronic pain often associated with migraines, asthma, and similar conditions
- Regular laughter yoga can also reduce the pain in spine and neck issues, alleviate anxiety, and lower the amount of medicine required for diabetes
Humans need happy emotional bonds with others just like food to eat and air to breathe, and laughter is the foundation for a happy, healthy life. A good, long stretch with hearty belly laugh is indeed food for the soul.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.