Tag: Meditation

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There are various laughter therapies used across the world to treat various ailments. Some of the prominent few are listed below.

Laughter Therapy: The idea behind this therapy is a healthy and cheerful laugh that can make a person feel better, to relieve stress, combat diseases and strengthen the immune system. It is said that even one minute of laughter can give the body up to 45 minutes of therapeutic relaxation. It stimulates appetite and digestion and also expands the blood vessels and sends more blood racing to the extremities. This process sends more oxygen to every cell in the body, it also serves to speed tissue healing and stabilize many body functions. Laughter even produces a feeling of well being.

Laughter Yoga & Laughter Clubs: Somewhat similar to traditional yoga, laughter yoga is an exercise which incorporates breathing, yoga, stretching techniques along with laughter. The structured format includes several laughter exercises for a period of 30 to 45 minutes facilitated by a trained individual. It is practiced as a supplemental or preventative therapy. Laughter yoga can be performed in a group or a club. Therapeutic laughter clubs are extension of Laughter Yoga, but in a formalized club format. This form of laughter from the Laughter Clubs is about self generated laughing – not telling jokes or apparently about anything except laughing. Laughing till it hurts your belly, until tears are streaming down your face. We very often spot a large group of people standing in a circle and laughing hysterically in a park in your locality. Many people have formed such laughter clubs across the globe and practice this task of laughing religiously.

Laughter Meditation: In laughter meditation there are some similarities to usual meditation. However, it is the laughter that focuses the person to concentrate on the moment. There is a three stage process of stretching, laughing and or crying, and a period of meditative silence. In the first stage, the person places all energy into the stretching every muscle without laughter. In the second stage, the person starts with a gradual smile, and then slowly begins to purposely belly laugh or cry, whichever occurs. In the final stage, the person abruptly stops laughing or crying, then with their eyes now closed they breathe without a sound and focus their concentration on the moment. The process is approximately a 15 minute exercise. This may be awkward for some people as the laughter is not necessarily spontaneous. This is generally practiced on an individual basis.

Clown Therapy: Somebody once said, “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” In some hospitals “clown rounds” are made. The clowns perform various fun acts, share jokes etc that make the patients (usually children) laugh. For hospitalized children, clown therapy can increase patient cooperation and decrease parental & patient anxiety. In some children the need for sedation is reduced. Other benefits include pain reduction and the increased stimulation of immune function in children. This use of clown therapy is not limited hospitals. They can transform other places such as nursing homes, orphanages, refugee camps, war zones, and even prisons. The presence of clowns tends to have a positive effect. It was noted that 10 minutes of belly laughter can help the patients with two hours of pain-free sleep.

Humor Therapy: It is also known as therapeutic humor. Using humorous materials such as books, shows, movies, or stories to encourage spontaneous discussion of the patients own humorous experiences. This can be provided individually or in a group setting. The process is facilitated by clinician. There can be a disadvantage to humor therapy in a group format, as it can be difficult to provide materials that all participants find humorous. It is extremely important the clinician is sensitive to laugh “with” clients rather than “at” the clients.

Go ahead and laugh. Do it with pride, do it for your health!

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Source by Satyakaam G

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Years ago, during a rough patch in life, I started seeing a behavioral psychologist to deal with some anxiety issues and insomnia. Part of his sessions often consisted of a guided meditation, where he would speak to me in gentle tones while I lay on the sofa, breathing deeply. The meditations were probably a good 20 minutes or so, and frankly, I wondered if perhaps these sessions were just a way for my therapist to get a break from listening to my life nonsense, but I found them very relaxing and left afterwards feeling calm and refreshed, two feelings that didn’t come naturally to me.

After one session, my therapist complimented me on my breathing. He noted that I could slow my breath down and take very long, deep breaths that helped me reach a different state. Higher consciousness? Maybe. Calm and relaxed? Definitely, at least during and for a bit after the meditation. He asked if I had learned this somewhere. I told him about the years I had spent taking Kundalini Yoga from a prominent LA teacher. It wasn’t daily training, just a class or two a week with a bunch of other students in a studio or in the instructor’s living room.

“Breath of Fire” (very rapid in and out breath through the nose and controlled by the diaphragm) and techniques that included filling your lungs with as much air as possible (or blowing ALL the air out of your lungs and keeping them empty – always much harder), and then doing yoga while holding the air in or out is the kind of training that can improve breathing technique. There were also gong meditations, lying on your back, eyes closed, and breathing deeply while the instructor bangs on a large gong, which you hear as well as feel (sound waves) for the duration of the meditation.

My therapist then suggested, that as a massage therapist and massage therapy instructor, I might also teach people how to breathe. So, with that in mind, here are a few thoughts for those of you who want to incorporate a meditation practice into your life to reap its proven positive benefits, including:

· When to meditate and how often

· Creating a good mediation environment

· What you need to meditate

· Mantra or no mantra?

· Deep breathing techniques

· Clearing the mind (what to think about… or not)

· Benefits of Mediation

· “Mindfulness.” What does it really mean?

1. PICK A GOOD TIME AND START SMALL

Did you know that the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree (ficus religiosa in Latin, which sounds like a Hermoine spell from Harry Potter) with the intention of remaining there until he achieved enlightenment? How long he actually sat is not entirely clear, but may have been weeks. Without food.

Good news: you don’t need to do that.

Start small. Most people who meditate “religiously” (it is spiritual, sometimes, but not necessarily religious, although even the Big 3 religions refer to silent or personal prayer as “meditation”) do so in the morning upon waking (and some do, in fact, get up at 4:30 for “sadna,” a pre-dawn meditation practiced by some Sikhs, when the spiritual energy is supposed to b especially strong), and then again in the late afternoon or early evening (before or after dinner is great).

Deep breathing before bed is a good way to relax, but a full meditation right before bed is not advisable because that might trick your body and brain into thinking you’ve slept enough already. And while early morning meditation seem to be fantastic for many, be realistic about yourself. Don’t make yourself get up at 5 or 6 to meditate if you hate getting up early. Do it when it’s convenient and easy for you, and then you’ll be more likely to keep doing it!

As for meditating for a week (or more) without food and water like the Buddha, this isn’t recommended for beginners or even the experienced. For most people, 15-20 minutes is a good session, but even five minutes is beneficial, and some long-time practitioners will do longer mediations. Starting out, five minutes is a good number because …

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