Health And Family

Haha hearty laughter with Congress Secretariat

LAUGHINGLY YOURS - Elvie Estavillo -

A few weeks before the Corona impeachment trial, I was invited to conduct Laughter Yoga for the secretariat employees of the House of Representatives in preparation for the hectic and stressful impeachment trial ahead. The venue was perfect for the seminar  San Miguel Corporation Training Center in Tagaytay City. It’s nestled atop a high hill with a fantastic panoramic view, complemented by a cool and invigorating climate.

Laughter Yoga leaders Lynda Geraldez and Liza Spaaragen joined me in this Laughter Yoga session, and together we recalled the very memorable and enjoyable Laughter Yoga Leadership Training Seminar that Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the International Laughter Yoga Movement, conducted in the same venue. I felt nostalgic and sentimental as the training center stirred joyful and pleasant memories of the two-day seminar I shared with the 40 participants to the said training seminar in November, 2010.

It greatly helped that the SMC Training Center is away from the hustle-bustle of the ever-increasing-stressful city life, thus giving that much-needed soothing and relaxing atmosphere.

At first, the participants were wary as they did not know what to expect and were quite shy about laughing their hearts out. After doing the warm-up exercises, such as the Laughter Yoga clapping and ho, ho, ha-ing, they began to relax and dropped their inhibitions.

Motivated and inspired by the benefits of Laughter Yoga that they all read together, their laughter increased in tempo and crescendo as I introduced the different kinds of laughter. Some participants later on laughed unabashedly, almost nonstop even, that I had to raise my hands to signal them to stop, so we could proceed to the next kind of laughter. Laughter undeniably is contagious! A direct line to communicate with people … happily.

Research shows that stress is related to 90 percent of all illnesses and 80 percent of all prescribed drugs sold. Among the stress-related illnesses prevalent today are depression, anxiety, asthma, alcohol & drug addictions, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. Stress attacks our immune system and affects human condition in several ways. Take note that stress is recognized as the world’s No.1 killer! Stress exacts a heavy toll on business and organizations, amounting to billions of dollars per year in terms of medical costs, medical leave, and loss of performance.

Laughter comes very handily and easily … it is nature’s best stress buster! It is absolutely free, doable at all times, designed and built into each human being. Medical research all over the world proves that laughter helps in healing and keeps us healthy. Laughter triggers the release of a cocktail of chemicals and hormones that are extremely beneficial and crucial to good health.

It boosts the secretion of the growth hormone, an enhancer of key immune responses. The physiological effects of a single laughter session can last 24 hours and a regular session can produce profound and long-lasting changes. 

Here are some endearing comments from the participants:

Portia Silang: New, innovative techniques for stress management, so relaxing and I felt rejuvenated …thanks, Elvie!

Beatriz Sañga: Thank you for your yoga therapy on the eyes! I’m right now suffering from degenerative floaters and flashes, and according to my ophthalmologist, I’m at high risk. I will practice what is preached! Thanks!

Efren T. Cortez: I learned a lot from the Laughter Yoga. I hope I’d be able to put them into practice and share them with others.

Long Fernando: Very informative and refreshing for the body. Will try to do these exercises at home and in the office.

Lelie Sanchez: A very enjoyable learning experience.

Marites Pempeña: The Laughter Yoga exercise is very relaxing and rejuvenating. More power, Ms. Elvie!

Nelia L. Cristobal: Laughter is indeed a great healing for us. The session was worthy of our time. I believe it helped my whole being.

Debbie Anne F. Soriano-Garcia: Fantabulous!

Marivic Castillon: The most and longest laughs I had in a period of two hours only.

Linda Tinir: A very good way to relax.

Roger Evangelista: Never been so happy in my life.

Ma. Rita Macabulos: Laughter can change the world. The Laughter Yoga session released all the toxins in my body for a healthier and happier me.

Jose Tablante: Let’s all LOL our troubles away! Excellent way to get rid of all the negatives and toxins in our body.

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