ARTICLES - THE PHILIPPINE STAR
HEAL YE, HEAL YE! : LAUGHTER YOGA VISITS ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL
Posted: July 26, 2011
Heal ye, heal ye!: Laughter Yoga visits St. Luke's Hospital
By Elvie Estavillo
Laughter is a form of internal jogging, it moves your internal organs around. It enhances respiration. It is an igniter of great expectation. Norman Cousins
Amazing! Awesome! Happy, enjoyable, relaxing, an alternative way to wellness! Thus gushed the 130 participants from both UST Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital that included doctors and the arthritis lay forum groups composed of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus.
Like an early bird catching its prey, at the onset of January, 2011, Dr. James Bermas of St. Luke’s rheumatology section already contacted me for a Laughter Yoga session for them.
The Sunday morning I spent with the eager and excited participants was very much worth the hours I took away from my personal time. Sunday mornings are actually Elvie’s time. Time I spend in my garden, listening to the soft, cool, relaxing cascades of the waterfalls, with songs that take me down memory lane of those happy, carefree years serving as a background.
All participants, including those in wheelchairs, had a real good time swaying, dancing, clapping, and laughing to the rhythm of ho, ho, ha, ha, ha! One couldn’t but feel their warmth, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn as much as they could from the session stemming understandably from their deep desire to get well the soonest possible time. I told them I, too, suffer from osteoarthritis, but whenever I do LYoga session, thanks to our Greatest Healer, I am pain-free, which last for about a week. This is because our bodies release natural pain-killers and feel-good hormones called endorphins. When we did the “aches and pains” laughter, I advised the participants to laugh their aches and pains away.
To inspire, nourish their hopes, strengthen faith, I mentioned the case of Norman Cousins, a respected editor of the Saturday Times Review in New York City who was diagnosed with a fatal, incurable spinal disease. His great leap of faith and the medication his good doctor friend administered to him he spiced up with daily tons of laughter. It worked! He happily discovered that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect that gave him at least two hours of pain-free sleep.
The sight of everyone really giving their all to the session some had arthritic hands but they still tried to clap and do the “health through fingertips” exercises in whatever way they could truly warmed the heart. Dr. Juan Javier Lichauco must have been really happy and fully satisfied for halfway through the session with the participants, he already asked my secretary Racquel to book them for next year!
When we did the “just laugh” laughter, I told them that any action repeated over and over eventually becomes a habit. So, why not make laughter, with all its multi-health benefits, a new habit? And the crowd roared continuously with hearty laughter.
If the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, the litmus test of LYoga’s effectiveness lies in the comments of the participants. Take it away!
• Dr. James Bermas: It brought back the child in me when everything seemed so perfect and problem-free. I believe LYoga is one of the best alternative ways if you want to lead a healthy, happy, and stress-free life!
• Dr. Juan Javier Lichauco: This is a very different experience for all our patients. We hope to have you again!
• Remedios Soriano: Very relaxing. Very funny. I learned to enjoy life.
• Kaye Kramzon: Fun activity, a stress reliever. I will do it at home!
• Amida Angeles: LYoga session is unique and very liberating.
• Dr. Melissa Aquino: LYoga is a refreshing experience for us doctors, who work continuously for the improvement of our patients. It is an interesting alternative way to wellness for our patients suffering from chronic diseases. It was a joyful experience to see them laugh continuously despite their sickness. It is also good that there is emphasis on self-empowerment, in uplifting one’s self to channel worries and energies into feeling better. Thank you, Ms. Elvie and her staff, for the experience!
• Winnie Samonte: Enjoyable, enhances self-confidence!
• Erlinda Dizon: I’m so glad that I attended this LYoga session. It was a good therapy. I hope your club will continue to help those who are sick and depressed.
• Virgilio Ganigan: A refreshing, educational healthy experience. Ms. Elvie’s Lyoga method relaxed, eliminated stress, relieved, and made us truly forget our sickness.
I will be away for three weeks and when I get back, will conduct LYoga sessions for the Regional Assembly of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate on August 27, and for the Association of CPAs in Public Practice conference in Cagayan de Oro on Sept. 23. Let’s keep laughing to a healthy, happy, positive us!
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