The World Laughter Tour and Laughter Therapy
"Just thought I would let you all know that we just completed our
first laughter therapy session. We had 10 patients total, kinda
small group but we wanted to start out that way. Everyone had a
blast. Grace commented that she had never seen a couple of the
patients smile like that before AND one of our constant
'take-me-to-bed patients' asked if she could stay up until after
supper. That was a miracle in and of itself."
K.P., CLL, Physical Therapist, South Carolina
the bottom line is clear: Laughter is its Own Reward.
Even if there were not a single shred of evidence that it affected
my biology or health, I would opt for a life filled with laughter
because a life absent of laughter is too dreadful to contemplate.
Laughter reminds us that we are joyously and joyfully natural
beings, of nature not merely surrounded by nature.
Laughter reminds us of the ecstatic potential of our existence.
Laughter is the primary outer manifestation of joy.
Give me a joyful life any day, every day, and I would never need to
bother about the research "data".
However, when I consider what is known about the pervasive
physiologic and psychological impact of mirthful laughter in human
beings, it is clearly a significant and integral aspect of human
functioning. Rather than trivial or ancillary, laughter is momentous
and central to our understanding of the human condition and of our
optimal functioning. The science of laughter should, therefore be
far more intensive and extensive than it has been; should be deeply
respected and highly valued.
You can count on us expanding on this idea in the future.
Together we can lead the world to health, happiness, and peace
To create and disseminate an adjunctive therapeutic modality called
laughter therapy by properly interpreting promising laughter
theories and practices into multi-generational, multi-cultural,
systematic health and happiness program; promoting attitudes that
support mental and physical health, thereby helping primary
treatments work better; providing methods that are uplifting, simple
and powerful; making the world a better place; helping people make
better health choices; providing the best value in training; for
individuals, organizations, and service to the community.
World Laughter Tour will act as a major catalyst in the development of laughter
therapy; will be a clearinghouse for information, ideas & news about therapeutic
laughter and the role of emotions and attitudes in health and happiness; helping
people achieve their fullest potential by choosing enjoyable, systematic,
life-affirming, healthy self-care strategies.
Service: “Everyone can be great because everybody can serve.” ~M.L.King
Spirituality: We are all connected.
Community: We are in this together; fostering the convergence of
Accuracy: Evidence-based; exercising sensible skepticism; evaluating
Value: The best value in this kind of training.
Therapeutic Laughter Programs are:
Everyone is welcome
Think Globally, Laugh Locally
A Better World
We promote a worldwide movement for
health, happiness and peace. We encourage everyone to tap into the
benefits of positive laughter & humor, which are natural pathways to
mind-body, mental & physical health. PLUS, we teach a method that
From tuning in to the negative to tuning in to the positive;
From rigid thinking to flexible thinking;
From self pity to gratitude;
From selfishness to kindness;
From harboring resentments to compassion and forgiveness;
From guilt and stress to joy, pleasure and relaxation.
is There So Much Excitement About the World Laughter Tour Training?
SIMPLY THE BEST WORKSHOP
YOU’LL EVER TAKE
With more than forty years of experience as a mental health educator and
Wilson continues to lead a design utilizing proven, modern
educational methods. There are plenty of ha-ha’s and ho-ho’s but nothing ho-hum
about this classroom experience. A highly interactive and participative format
holds student attention and increases retention. We have assembled a
Professional Advisory Committee,
a team of
eminent researchers and clinicians, to guide the development and
direction of the curriculum. Lively discussion,
instructors, experiential exercises, and a comfortable pace help
students absorb the required knowledge and acquire the particular skills.
The generous use of
multi-media insures that teaching methods appeal to a variety of learning
styles. The high-interest core curriculum covers fascinating evidence from
recent science as well as ancient wisdom. Instructional techniques such as
demonstration-and- return-demonstration insure establishment of entry level
skills in only 2-days.
The workshop experience affects students on both the personal and professional
Originally, these workshops were only offered in major cities, self-produced,
and conducted in (expensive) hotel meeting rooms. As economics became more of a
factor, we began receiving many requests for training “closer to home”, and
hospitals and colleges began inviting us to conduct our training on site at
their facilities. We saw the opportunity for hosted workshops to be very
convenient and economical. We could pass savings along in the form of reduced
tuition and tuition waivers. We watched hosts receive terrific PR value and
goodwill in their communities, too. The
Host-Site Partner Program is the result.
Steve Wilson coupled his 15-year studies of the undeniable
physiologic and psychological importance of humor and laughter with the interest
he observed in the laughter clubs of
India, realized that the components of a breakthrough adjunctive
therapy were at hand.
Art Therapy and Music Therapy have long established the viability of adjunctive
therapeutic modalities. Now there is Laughter therapy. It is the natural outflow
of the convergence of the need for effective, efficient activity programming,
the anticipation of a population of New Seniors (Baby Boomers), a growing body
of evidence from
gelotology (the science of laughter), acceptance of an integrative approach
to medical treatment, and the creation of a curriculum that meets
professional continuing education requirements.
The foundation of the
Site Partner program is economy without sacrificing effectiveness, mutual
respect, common goals, and convenience. Hosts maintain high standards and
achieve a competitive advantage while delivering innovative programming that
embraces the joy of living.
A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
of the surest indicators of mental health are a great sense of humor
and getting enough laughter. Systematic exposure to true-mirthful
laughter in a supportive environment, shifts perspective and
contributes to mind-body balance. 2-day Certified Laughter Leader
workshops teach practical, cost-effective applications of
therapeutic laughter for mental & physical well-being. Our program
acts as a mood regulator, lifting day-to-day depression, discharging
tension, relieving anxiety, perking up energy, improving social
relations & self-confidence; instilling attitudes of optimism,
tolerance, kindness, forgiveness, compassion; and, promoting peace.
Tuition includes a year of follow-up support. WOW! What a concept!
modern era of humor and laughter,
laughter therapy takes forms ranging from prescribed hospital
activity to public laughter clubs around the world. This modality
represents something new and different yet ancient and familiar. We are now able to
bring the world a revival of an ancient prescription, with a modern
twist; a unique combination of systematic methods,
information to improve physical health and emotional
balance, and a socially responsible value system.
Old Is New Again
so-called humor & laughter movement has been going strong for
many years. Some date efforts to promote the positive uses of humor
and laughter back 5,000 years to Tibetan Buddhist
practices. Others identify the onset of the modern movement with the
publication of Norman Cousin’s 1979 “Anatomy of an Illness As
Perceived by the Patient.” Dr. William Fry, Jr., reported the
official establishment of
Gelotology, the science of laughter, in 1964. Whatever you think about when it all
started, laughter therapy is the most recent practical, and
contribution to the humor & laughter movement.
us, and our best friends, have been in the movement for twenty years
or more. We come from every walk of life, including speakers,
clowns, clergy, educators, stand-up comedians, trainers, writers,
consultants, researchers, healthcare professionals, and more. For
us, gelotology and laughter therapy offer something new and different
because it allows us to bring new ideas to our “audiences” and
new ways to get people involved in taking
greater responsibility for their own health and well-being.
Laughter therapy adds a new dimension to all the good work and important
ideas that we have been teaching up until now.
have read the books and articles, attended the conferences and
workshops, and learned a lot of good ideas and information for
helping people bring more humor and laughter into theirs lives. We
have learned from clowns and scholars and even an occasional
scholar-clown. We have heard humorists, comedians, actors,
ministers, physicians, business people and more, hold forth on the
importance of humor and laughter. Although some get carried away
with enthusiasm, and the claims get somewhat exaggerated, by and
large the information is worthwhile, and many of the presentations
are downright hilarious.
still, therapeutic laughter programs are different. For the first time we have an
economical and highly practical application of theories that are
being proved correct every day. It is now indisputable that laughter,
along with other pleasant emotions and particular
plays a role in healing, staying healthy, controlling stress
reactions, and maintaining emotional balance. We believe that when
enough people have enough of the spirit of laughter, the world will
be more peaceful.
Makes the World Laughter Tour Laughter Therapy Different From Other
Humorous And Laughter-Filled Activities?
This is not a comedy club or joke fest.
Laughter therapy is as a
profession concerned with promoting health and well being through laughter.
utilizes a systematic activity approach that is based on
a foundation of both ancient practices and modern medical science.
therapy is considered to be an adjunctive therapeutic modality, not a primary
treatment. It is a method that helps primary treatments work better because of
the known physiologic impact of mirthful laughter and the tendency to promote
calm, raise spirits, increase relaxation, release tension, and elevate mood.
A standard laughter therapy session has a distinct sequence, with
each part having particular content.
are engaged as active and interactive
participants, not a passive audience being entertained.
known scientific findings, laughter
therapy promotes mirthful laughter as a form of light physical exercise,
as a contributor to mental health, and as having beneficial physiological
Therapeutic laughter programs make the
natural and positive power of laughter a widely accessible health
option, in long-term care for example, through the work of
lay-person volunteers as well as
Nurses, Activity Therapists and Recreation Therapists, Case Managers,
Social Workers, and other health & human services professionals.
therapy principles can be applied in communities such as schools and workplaces as a form of social
glue; people who laugh together work together better.
Sometimes the laughter therapy session is
called a laughter club, which has the added therapeutic advantage of supporting
a psychologically satisfying sense of belonging.
Certified Laughter Leader™
is conferred only by World Laughter Tour, after successful completion of the
standard 2-day workshop “How to Create Therapeutic Laughter and Laughter Clubs”.
laughter therapy, laughter is initially evoked by "self-starting” not by humor,
jokes or comedy. Participants voluntarily engage in brief enjoyable
group exercises that combine laughter with familiar movements. They learn to connect to their original,
authentic, satisfying laughter. They learn to appreciate the value of true
consider humor, or any activity that evokes
mirthful laughter, to be advantageous to healing, reducing stress, and enjoying
life, and in that sense is therapeutic.
all human beings are capable of laughing and smiling virtually at birth. Our
approach emphasizes and encourages the development of a particular set of attitudes as a means of self-care as well as a contribution to
a better world.
does not need to have a sense of humor in order to laugh.
people who claim to be completely devoid of a sense of humor can
enjoy and benefit from laughter therapy.
However, over a period of time, systematic participation in
a therapeutic laughter program
appears to have the effect of improving the sense of humor.
often, laughter therapy activity takes place in a group that comes
together with the common purposes to experience, embrace, and
support laughter, as well as to enjoy social support.
therapy can be learned; leaders can be trained.
demonstrate, motivate, educate, and inspire groups.
there is humor in a laughter therapy session, it is most often a
spontaneous occurrence within the group, whereas joke-telling or "being
funny" is not
expected or required. This is mainly because humor
is personal and subjective but laughter is universal. When
jokes are used to evoke laughter, many people don’t get the joke,
or don’t like the joke.
jokes runs the risk of being offensive or hurtful. Laughter therapy
operates on a value system that minimizes and eliminates the risks
of embarrassment or hurt feelings. The group is laughing with each other, not at
is difficult to define; “funniness’ is impossible to
measure. On the other hand, the physiological changes that accompany laughter are
relatively easy to measure, which means that, compared to humor, the benefits
observed and studied more readily.
therapy can be repeated as often as you
like without becoming stale or boring; a joke is usually only funny
of shared values and interests in gelotology, there is a loosely
organized global network to share ideas and to give
encouragement and inspiration.
An important professional organization in the field is the
Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor and
Laughter Tour maintains and supports a network of Certified Laughter Leaders(tm),
helping the method to improve
continuously, inventing new exercises and activities as well as
discovering necessary cultural adaptations.
Laughter Tour's therapeutic laughter
programs are open to everyone; nobody is excluded.
are non-political, non-religious, non-exploitive.
systematic therapeutic laughter methods are adaptable to all
ages, backgrounds, and even adapt to various physical and mental
therapeutic laughter methods address body, mind, and spirit.
Laughter Leaders(tm) subscribe to a
Code of Ethics.
laughter therapy, participants achieve
better balance of emotions, reduce the harmful effects of stress,
release harmful anger and judgmentalism; this makes life more
enjoyable and helps the world be a
Laughter Leaders are encouraged to promote observances of
World Laughter Day (the first
Sunday in May)
National Humor Month (April).
there is a common ground of science, philosophy, and values,
therapeutic laughter enthusiasts and professionals connect all around the world.
therapy is not limited by language differences. Laughter has
Click here for information in other
of the WLT's Laughter Club Program |
Features of WLT's Laughter Club Program |
Living(tm): Day-by-Day the WLT Laughter Club Way