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Tuesday, 25 December, 2001, 12:50 GMT
'Laugh your sorrows away'
Delagates at the laughter convention in Bangalore
Laughing: It is a serious matter
By the BBC's Ayanjit Sen in Delhi

More than 900 people gathered in the southern Indian city of Banglaore to gain good health by bursting into peals of laughter.

The three-day meeting was organised by the All-India Laughter Convention.


This conference helped delegates to demonstrate artificial laughter which has the same good impact on the body as natural laughter

Dr Madan Kataria, Laughter Club International

In a world of miracle drugs, alternative medicines and self-help literature, the Convention believes in the simple concept of laughter therapy.

Speaking to the BBC, the founder of the Laughter Club International, Dr Madan Kataria, said the convention provided a forum for laughter buffs to meet and exchange new laughing techniques.

Delegates danced and also held laughter competitions and gibberish contests.

Laughing helps to boost the immune system apart from relaxing the body, according to Dr Kataria.

Scientific?

Dr Kataria said several diseases like asthma, anxiety, gastric ulcers and certain sexual disorders could be cured by laughing regularly.

But this is yet to be scientifically proved.

Members from different socio-economic backgrounds shared their experiences and benefits of laughter at the conference.

Physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects of laughter were discussed, said Dr Kataria.

Laughing as a form of yoga exercise has also helped people, he said.

Cell phone laughter

The conference witnessed laughter walks and demonstrations of different forms of stimulated laughter.

This included milk shake laughter, cell phone laughter, one metre laughter, silent laughter, hearty laughter, dancing laughter, cocktail laughter and forgiveness laughter.

A conference delegate said forgiveness laughter is when one holds one's earlobes and laughs looking at each other with a spirit to forgive and forget.

One metre laughter is when one laughs at a stretch for sometime.

Another delegate said a simple medicine for depression is to say to laugh aloud and tell yourself that, "Yes, I am the happiest person in the world.''

The group is now planning an international laughter convention in September in the western state of Goa.

See also:

27 Sep 01 | Health
Mysteries of laughter revealed
15 Nov 00 | Health
Laughter 'protects the heart'
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