In Wisconsin healthcare, laughter is being taken seriously. As a result, I was invited to give the keynote address at the district meeting for the Partners of Wisconsin Hospital Association. It was held on April 19 in Prairie du Chien. I was able to share with them about the many wants in which laughter yoga is being utilized as an integrative medicine in hospitals throughout the world. Then, we had a rolicking good time laughing, as you can see by the pictures below (courtesy of Sue Meisner). Remember, laughter is the best medicine!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
On Sunday, my church, Our Savior's Lutheran, held it's 6th Annual Holy Hilarity Sunday. We've gotten to be quite the laughing church in the years since our laughter club began. The pictures below are evidence of the fun-loving people that comprise the congregation. This year, in addition to celebrating the resurrection with laughter and jokes, we also performed a high-energy "half time" dance. What a great way to have fun in worship! There's nothing like doing a joyful dance. Check out the video here or view it below.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
See a familiar face on this preview shot of the cover of Parade Magazine for April 15, 2012? That's right, it's me!
Eleven years ago, an LA-based photographer for Parade was looking for a pastor willing to be in the annual What People Earn issue. A mutual friend suggested me and at that time, I was just young and naive enough to be willing to admit my age and salary. So I agreed and was included.
Well, this year Parade Magazine contacted me again asking if I'd be willing to be in their 30th anniversary issue. They were interested in how my job and salary had changed in the years since my first appearance. Back in 2001, I was a Lutheran pastor. Today, I am still a Lutheran pastor, but my ministry has expanded. I am also a Laughter Yoga Master Teacher, motivational speaker, artist, author, record producer, filmmaker and freelance writer. How could I possibly sum that all up in one short job title (which is all they would allow)? Finally, the editor and I decided to simply call me a "Laughter Ambassador." This is an honorary title, which was bestowed upon me by Laughter Club International a few years ago. I've taken that role seriously and have been spreading laughter around the globe. I think it does well at describing the diverse work that I do.
Best of all, this appearance in Parade Magazine will give laughter a plug. Yes, being a "Laughter Ambassador" is a real job. Ha ha! Who knew? I hope it will inspire others to do laughter work as well. We can never have enough ambassadors of laughter!
Oh, and by the way, I want to point out that the new photo was taken by my brilliant husband, William. 33 million copies of his photograph are being printed for this weekend. That's a pretty cool photo credit.
Friday, April 13, 2012
As part of the 3-day Laughter Yoga Leader Retreat held March 30-April 1, we took the students on a field trip to the nursing home. This was an opportunity for the leaders-in-training to polish up their laughter leadership skills and gain valuable experience. Best of all, it allowed them to give residents the gift of laughter.
This component of Certified Laughter Yoga Leader training is being implemented by a number of Laughter Yoga Teachers around the country. It was originally developed by Jody Ross, Director of the Come to Life Project. Ross is passionate about bringing laughter yoga to nursing care facilities and has developed groundbreaking laughter yoga techniques for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Photographs of her work can be seen at the National Institutes of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and are featured in the 2010 World Alzheimer’s Report. Ross is prominently on the cover of the book Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently by Dr. Cathy Greenblat.
|Jody Ross giving a laughter hug to a resident of Thornton Manor in Lansing, Iowa|
Ross, who is also a faculty member of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga, organized the nursing home laughter yoga session and was the master of ceremonies. Each of the students led a part of the program and everyone shared in the joy. When 26 laughing people came into the small nursing home in Lansing, Iowa, they brought incredible enthusiasm, joy and love. It lifted us all. Below are the video clips and pictures of the amazing event.
|Laughter Yoga Teacher Carolyn Christopher laughing with a resident|
|Faculty member Michelle Erschen laughing with a resident|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Josie Milan with residents|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Lynette McCormack with her new laughter friend|
|The group doing a breathing exercise|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Josie Milan explaining the next laughter exercise|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Dianne Jones and a laughing resident|
|More group laughter|
|Carolyn laughing with a resident as Laughter Yoga Leader Lisa Weis (right) explains the exercise|
|Faculty member Jody Ross laughing with a resident|
|Laughter Yoga Leaders Angie Jensen, Sue Rhodes and Jenna Miner at the session|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Kim Doffing connects with a resident|
|Laughter Yoga Teacher Teddy Bruns and her new laughter friends|
|Carolyn gives out another hug|
|Laughter Yoga Leader Betsy Kennedy gives a laughter hug|
|Carolyn and yet another laughter friend|
|Betsy sharing a laugh with Glen, a resident who passed away less than two weeks after this session|
|Dianne and her laughter friends|
|Lisa and her new friend|
|Carolyn laughing with her buddy|
|Dianne and her friend|
|Faculty member Jill Johnson and her laughter friend|
|Teddy getting more laughter stirred up|