New Research: Parkinson's Disease & Laughter Yoga

Shelley BellAccording to a new study published in EXPLORE May/June 2016, Vol. 12, No. 3, by Debra Swedberg DeCaro, MSW, and Jodi L. Constantine Brown, PhD, MSW, "laughter improves physical and psychological health-related outcomes across diseases and populations. Research related to psychological outcomes is prevalent with studies showing that laughter helps with stress, mood, memory,  interpersonal relationships, psychologiccal well-being, and quality of life."

 By stimulating the amygdala, laughter may be helpful for adults with Parkinson's Disease (PD) because deficits involving  functions regulated by the amygdala have been implicated in PD symptoms. Laughter can create an increase in dopamine  production, and thus an increase in positive mood in adults with PD, as evidenced by anecdotal accounts and new research.  Laughter Yoga (LY) may be a viable intervention for adults because of these connections which impact "stress, mood, memory, interpersonal relationships, psychological well-being, and quality of life." 

While the most common current PD treatments involve psychotherapy and pharmacology, some of the side effects associated with pharmacological treatment have stimulated a call for "alternative treatment approaches."

 With PD, it is especially difficult to separate biological and psychological symptoms. This leads to high priority in searching for solutions that involve both body and mind.

With Laughter Yoga, as started by Dr. Madan Kataria, techniques including breathing and laughter exercises, can be replicated by trained LY instructors. 

Laughter and Laughter Yoga have been studied to see if the results are consistent and several studies have shown positive outcomes in a variety of areas. It has also been shown to have benefits for caregivers.

Looking for a Laughter Yoga specialist? Click here to search our directory for one near you.

Complete article with references at: The NeuroCommunity Foundation (Click here)

Special thanks to Shelley Bell for her leadership in Laughter Yoga and it's applications for health and healing (Click to "meet" Shelley)

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 Camille Leon is the Founder of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce. She seeks to connect more people with      natural and holistic health and wellness therapies. Camille is available as a speaker and consultant.

 Contact Camille: 310-490-6862 or by email


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