Laugh for good health
February 10, 2009 · Updated 2:17 PM
Everyone knows that laughter is good.
But it took a yoga practitioner in India, Madan Kataria, to develop the international Laughter Club to make use of that fact for the benefit of health.
An Arlington area counselor who has done social work and massage in the past, Betsy Wright Loving recently decided that counseling is her true calling and she leads a new Laughter Club in Arlington for free.
Her counseling service is based at Points and Pathways Clinic in Smokey Point, but the free Laughter Club is held at the Mirkwood and Shire Cafe, on Division Street at the north end of North Olympic Avenue at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.
Loving has led introductions to laughter therapy for private groups including a group of 60 at a special event at the Stillaguamish Senior Center once.
“I don’t think a day should go by without laughing,” Loving said.
She was trained four years ago by a prodige of Madan Kataria, Steve Wilson who studied with Kataria in Mumbai, India and now leads the effort in the Western world.
Karen Aurand, who practices yoga regularly, decided to join the club for the fun of it.
“Because we don’t laugh by ourselves easily, I decided to learn the art by joining this club,” said Aurand, who first heard about the Laughter Club eight years ago and attended an introduction in Seattle then, but didn’t continue the practice.
Another member of the club, Thelma Powers said she heard about it from an 83 year old.
“I figured if she can do it, so can I,” said Powers, who lives in Marysville.
Susan Anderson said she has been chronically ill and noticed that she hadn’t been laughing much, so she decided to join the club and try it out.
“I’d been thinking about it for a while,” said the resident of Arlington.
Susan Bonasera said she joined because of her stressful job.
“I needed something to brighten up my day.”
The Laughter Club is free and people are invited to drop in whenever they can, Love said.
She warms up the participants by showing a very entertaining video of people laughing — it’s enough to get even the shyest beginner into the mood for laughter.