Friday, May 13, 2011


On May 9th, I had the incredible opportunity of leading two laughter yoga workshops at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wisconsin. This demonstrates how serious GE Healthcare is about promoting workplace wellness. One of the workshops was open for all employees to attend if they so desired. The second one was for a staff meeting. In both workshops, the GE Healthcare community had a delightful time laughing, relieving stress and boosting their own health.

My sister, Dr. Kathleen Phelan—a graduate of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga and is now known as "Laffy Kathy"—assisted me in this laughing endeavor. It was so exciting to lead the laughter yoga sessions with her. We've got a great synergy.

Art Larson of GE Healthcare explained the event in this way: "We had Laughing Laura and her sister, Kathy, attend our GE staff meeting. The only person that really knew what to expect was our 'Health Ahead' committee member. Everyone else was in for the surprise. I noticed immediate interest by our team, a team that normally manages through a great deal of stress each day. While there was hesitation as we began, by the end of the session everyone felt a lot better than they did when we started. Laughing Laura and Kathy put us at ease with a combination of solid clinical examples on the effects of laughter on body and soul and some great exercises to do as a team. We all really enjoyed the session and had a great time exercising with laughter!"

One of the event organizers, Naresh, wrote to me: "Thank you so much for coming! I have been laughing ever since. You made all the participants feel comfortable to come out and explore the lighter and funny side of life. It was simply great and you two are fabulous! Ha ha haaaaa!"

The other organizer, Shari Lynn, added: "I've received a lot of positive feedback. You and Kathy were a big hit here!"

I also was forwarded an e-mail from a lead engineer who wrote of the session: "It was nice to see a pastor getting a hold of this for good health...she has a very unusual talent. I must admit, the session impacted me. When I laid down to go to sleep, I started chuckling! :D"

Though we didn't have my photographer husband, William, along, we did manage to get a few pictures of the hilarity and post them here.

The Ha Ha Sisters

The morning workshop

Doing the "elephant laughter" exercise in the second workshop

More laughing trunks with "elephant laughter"

Laughing for no reason

"Santa laughter"

Laughter meditation (Yes, that's a group of serious employees cutting loose by laughing on the floor of their conference room!)

The Ha Ha Sisters with one of our new
laughing friends from GE Healthcare

Shari Lynn and I showing off our laughter-wear

More new laughter friends from GE Healthcare
(As you can see, they are amazing!)

Laughter yoga is fantastic for stress management. It can help bring about greater wellness and increased efficiency. To read more about laughter yoga as a business tool, click here. Laughter yoga CDs and other resources can be found at The Laughter Shoppe. Bring laughter and levity to your workplace by calling me, Laughing Laura, at 563-880-2699 or Laffy Kathy at

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