Silent Internal Laughter Yoga
I was born just after WWII, in England. I was about 2 1/2 years old before I saw an orange or a banana. Candy was rationed until after I was five years old. So I really loved fruit that was unusual to me. Coming from a large family, there was not the money for imported luxuries so I rarely had the opportunity to enjoy my unreachable exotic fruits. My mother used my love of fruit to help me go to sleep. It involved thinking about the fruit I loved so much. She told me to imagine in a large bowl of fruit, so high it reached up to the ceiling of the room I was in and had every kind of fruit I loved on it, all for me. Then she told me I could eat any of the fruit I wanted over and over again. I would never be sick and I would always feel like smiling. Very soon I would be happy, relaxed, sometimes laughing in my mind at the mounds of fruit. Then I would awake, and it was the next morning.
At the age of three and a half, I was involved in a very serious traffic accident and spent two years in hospital receiving treatment, which required weekly surgery to my legs for 18 months I was often frightened of that surgery, but my mother calmed me over and over by telling me to use the bowl of fruit and soon it was an habit.
This worked very well and for about 60 years, whenever I could not sleep, whenever I was distressed. I used this technique.
in 2008, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. If you read my bio you will know the details of this and how Laughter Yoga has helped me stay healthy and support my body so that I have a much better than expected response. A year after my first knowledge of the returning cancer, I began medical treatment. Once a month, I have a five hour infusion of medication to protect my bones from the cancer. I have always kept my body clean of drugs, additives colorants and junk food. This has a downside. It means I'm extremely sensitive to medication, particularly IV medication.
A few months ago, the nurse had begun giving me an IV too quickly and I had an paradoxical (opposite) reaction to one of the medications and difficulty breathing, my tongue was swelling and my lips becoming numb. The nurses rushed to turn off the IV and called the doctor. I was desperate not to have any more drugs in my body. I couldn’t laugh as I could barely breathe, so I raised my hand to tell them to hold off on the further medication they were preparing, used Pranayama breathing plus Internal Silent Laughing, and it WORKED. instead of imagining the bowl of fruit. I recalled a laughter yoga session in which we gave up finishing the planned laughter exercises, because we fell into laughter meditation naturally. I imagine, because this was a real event stored in the subconscious memory of my brain, combined with my lifelong training of relaxation with the fruit, it was seamless in function and incredibly effective.
In my mind, I was right there in the laughter yoga session, laughing helplessly with everybody else. It was so easy. To those in the room, I appeared to be calming down, my eyes closed, my breath pattern smoothing down. my body relaxing and my breathing slowing to normal. In less than ten minutes, with no mitigating drugs. I was alert, refreshed and relaxed. We continued the medication at a slower rate and had no further problems. I use this new silent internal laughter for every IV now and have had no untoward reactions since. I have also taken to using it when I have sad news from my family and my cancer sisters or during physically stressful times when I have committed to laughter yoga or other activities and the medication side effects flare or exhaustion from pushing myself too hard makes me feel it is impossible to go on. Within ten minutes I am able to get ready and go to the event. I am now working on mitigating the side effects of the medication using the internal silent laughter while i have the IV. I am 1% of those who take it, we have very strong and debilitating reactions to this drug.
Internal silent laughter, has enabled me to reduce not only the amounts of mitigating drugs that are administered to combat my allergic reaction, but also to control and reduce these side effects I was suffering, to a level where my quality of life is enhanced at will, all I have to do is breathe and remember.
To use my technique, breathe into your navel as if there is a hole there. Then breathe into your chest and then your shoulders until you can inhale no more. Release the breathe as gently as you can with an almost silent disappearing hum on a lowering note. Do this six to eight times, as slowly as you can. Then bring to your mind, a laughter session in which you have enjoyed limitless laughter or if you are new to laughter yoga and are reading this before learning the laughter yoga technique, remember a situation in which your sense of humor was stimulated so strongly that you could not stop laughing. Continue the breathing in your own time at your own pace while enjoying the replay of the laughter in your mind. The relaxing breathing with the genuine memory of laughter will, with practice, bring on the benefits of a live laughter yoga session.
And don't forget we have Laughter leaders hosting calls for your pleasure, from 6am EST until 1am EST. Come and join us for some Out Loud Laughter Fun.