A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Laughter - The Best Medicine in Knowlton
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Laughing, like squeezing a big orange mascot, is so good for the soul it doesn't matter if your team even wins!Yeah...me and Youpi go way back to when we danced in the aisles for the Expos...now he's with the Habs and we still like to get together and tell jokes...sure we both no we'll never see another Stanley Cup but when we're splitting our sides in juvenile jocularity we hardly notice!

Youpi's Latest Joke: "A husband was in big trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife scolded him, "Tomorrow there better be something in the driveway for me that goes from zero to 200 in two seconds flat!"

The next morning, the wife found a small package in the driveway. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale!"

I know...it's an eye roller but as one Michael Pritchard put it:

You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

With winter coming and the cold starting to rattle our bones and the endless failure of our lottery numbers to come through and the sad state of the economy and the environment collapsing around us it almost makes a grow man cry and curse the almighty for showering us wih such terminal hardship! But maybe instead of gritting our teeth and wailing we need to just have a good old fashioned belly laugh!

Did you ever see the 2001 film “Laughing Club of India” , a short documentary about Doctor Madan Kataria, who decided to find out whether or not "laughter is the best medicine."? Well, in India in the 90’s, the good doctor gathered together a group of sick and depressed patients and neighbors to meet daily to laugh. Yep...just getting together to laugh! After a time, Dr. Kataria found that the participants experienced improved health and decreased levels of stress. And so, it was in 1995 that the “laughter yoga” movement officially started and there are now over 5000 laughter clubs in over 40 countries around the world. There are actually many laughing clubs in Quebec and one as close to us as Magog!

Now Knowlton can have a first-hand look at the laughter yoga phenomenon that is helping heal the human spirit one belly laughin’ kneeslap at a time! Montreal film director, journalist, and all-around wise-guy Albert Neremberg is bringing his unique brand of laughter yoga to Lac Brome with what he calls “Laughercize”. The show is sure to be a sell-out so get tickets now as it is for one night only, on December 1st, at the Arts Knowlton theatre at 7 pm. Tickets are only $10.

Nerenberg will reveal what is driving the sudden rise of the international laughter movement, and demonstrate Laughercize, Laughter Yoga and how active laughter improves health and outlook. Audience members will get an interactive taste of some of the breakthrough techniques in the development of laughter for health.

The event promises to expose some of the new revelations around laughter’s ability to treat disease, improve fitness and elevate mood. Although laughter’s benefits have recently become better documented, the challenge is getting people to laugh for reasonable amounts of time. “That challenge has been overcome” says Nerenberg, who will demonstrate some of the methods.

Background on Laughter Yoga and Laugherize.
Laughter Yoga is a new form of exercise developed by Indian doctor Maidan Kataria. Kataria’s innovation was developing a form of laughter therapy that doesn’t require jokes.

Although...I heard another good one recently from Youpi: How many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two, but don't ask me how they got in there!

Happy child image courtesy of the www.laughercize.com website. Thanks! The old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart,” says Michael Miller, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack.” Bouts of laughter seem to reverse this effect.

It might well be stating the obvious, but scientists have proved what everyone else takes for granted — that laughter really is good for you. It turns out that even the anticipation of watching a funny video can raise the levels of immune-boosting hormones in the blood, and the benefits can last up to a day.

“The systems on which we have evidence that mirthful laughter has an impact are: the skeletal muscular system, the central nervous system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and the endocrine system” (5). William F. Fr Jr., in Humor and Health Journal

Laughing just 15 minutes a day can help you lose weight. Scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., have discovered that a daily dose of laughing can burn up to five pounds of fat over a year. Ten to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day.

Lee Berk, of California's Loma Linda University, found that people expecting to watch a funny movie had 27 per cent more beta-endorphins and 87 per cent more human growth hormone hurtling around their blood than a control group did.

"The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that's laughter. The moment it arises, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. " Mark Twain

Albert NerembergAlbert Nerenberg is the director of several acclaimed feature documentaries including the hit films Stupidity and more recently the CBC comedy Let’s All Hate Toronto. He developed the slideshow while working on a documentary on laugher for CTV which he is shooting around Canada and in Europe. Nerenberg is the inventor of Trailervision a website which popularized movie trailers as their own art form which CNN called “an international cult phenomenon.” Nerenberg has been the subject of retrospectives at le Cinematheque Quebecoise and the Just for Laughs Festival. He is also the inventor of Laughercize, a more accessible form of Laughter Yoga. Some of us remember Albert back in the day when he was a fixture on The Main in Montreal usually seen wearing a multi-colored plaid sports coat and yellow and green socks!

It's sure to be a real hoot! Tickets are available at the door on a first come first serve basis.

“Laughing May Be The Best Medicine” with Albert Nerenberg
Dec 1st, 7 pm, Arts Knowlton, 9 Echo, Knowlton
For more info call 450-242-2927 or visit: www.laughercize.com

For more information on Laughing Clubs in Canada visit Dr. Katarias official website


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