"Bringing Laughter to Cancer and Other Health Support Communities"
A Special Therapeutic Laughter Program of World Laughter Tour

View a brief video: Laughter Works

"Laughter and humor can help make the unbearable a little more bearable." ~Anon.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." ~Proverbs 17

"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." ~Lord Byron

"Laughter is an ambassador for all the positive emotions." ~Norman Cousins

"To the extent laughter or any of the positive emotions, can block panic, depression, or despair, 
we have a therapeutic ally." ~Norman Cousins

WHAT IS IT? 

"Bringing Laughter to Cancer and Other Health Support Communities," the first of several Special Laughter Projects is underway. 

A cooperative effort between World Laughter Tour (WLT) and various support groups. Qualified instructors in therapeutic laughter techniques known as Certified Laughter Leaders (CLLs), lead laughter clubs and present related programs for support group participants, patients, and their friends and families. This brings the power of laughter into the mix of therapies helping to create a therapeutic alliance between mind and body, while introducing a program of life-affirming, enjoyable coping skills.

If you or someone you know participates in a support community for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, or another illness, attitudes and emotions play a part in coping, healing, and thriving. Read on and contact us to learn how our therapeutic laughter programs might be able to help.

Across the United States and Canada, WLT coordinates and prepares Certified Laughter Leaders who conduct laughter club therapeutic sessions and discussions in support communities. Certified Laughter Leader training prepares the volunteers with the needed knowledge, skills, and values, and our orientation program prepares them to be effective in the support community environment.

The laughter program serves many purposes, helping participants to bond while they learn how to capitalize on the role of emotions, attitudes, laughter and humor as allies in their treatment and quality of life goals. WLT works closely with support each community administrator to assure smooth integration of therapeutic laughter with the community's other offerings.

Staring by creating relationships with Gilda's Club Worldwide and The Wellness Communities, we have expanded the project to included other support groups, now bringing laughter to wherever it can help.

PURPOSES:
1. To strengthen the effectiveness of support group programs.

2. To show how the proper application of laughter can create a therapeutic alliance between mind and body in order to capitalize on the role of attitudes and emotions in health and healing.

3. To expand the awareness of the value of laughter and programs such as Good-Hearted Living(tm).

4. To teach life-affirming, enjoyable coping skills to support group participants.

5. Many support groups find that a therapeutic laughter program option is appealing to participants, and it garners excellent positive publicity for the group.

   
RESEARCH: 
There is a research component designed by Nancy Westburg, PhD. The initial research consists of brief surveys. It is simple, easy, and confidential. It will serve as the starting point for collecting data about the value of these programs, and will serve as a basis for seeking grants to enlarge the study of therapeutic laughter. We will give you the details as they develop.

LINKS: 
Humor and Cancer
http://www.holisticonline.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy_and_cancer.htm 

Laughter as Therapy-1 http://www.crystalinks.com/laughter.html

Laughter as Therapy-2 http://www.crystalinks.com/laughter2.html


WHICH ORGANIZATIONS PARTICIPATE? Organized support groups for those facing any physical or mental health challenges may request a qualified volunteer for their group. We will attempt to match CLLs in your local area with requests for volunteers. Support groups include those addressing cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, lupus, and others.

HOW TO FIND A VOLUNTEER LAUGHTER LEADER: Click here to send us an e-mail describing your group and needs. Or, call us at 614-855-4733.

HOW DOES THE PROJECT WORK? World Laughter Tour works closely and cooperatively with a number and variety of support groups including Gilda's Club Worldwide and The Wellness Community. The groups understand how to make this project operate with maximum effectiveness, and they provide input to the development of guidelines for the CLLs so they can function effectively and un-obtrusively.

CLLs are encouraged to volunteer to bring laughter club programs to cancer support communities as well as those for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, whatever. In other words, this project is not limited to cancer.

CLLs may want volunteer one time only, or they arrange an ongoing program (perhaps monthly). There is no minimum or maximum commitment.

GUIDELINES TO CLLS: Here are guidelines typically followed by the CLL volunteers.

- Each Gilda’s Club (and other support groups) has its own director and has a volunteer orientation program that all volunteers must complete.

- Introduce yourself to the program director and explain why you want to bring a Laughter Club with Good Hearted Living™ and its benefits to their organization. Remember these are non paid engagements.

- "Bringing Laughter to Cancer" is a voluntary program.

- At this time, Gilda’s Clubs are eagerly awaiting our participation. The program directors have been notified of our interest and are aware that Certified Laughter Leaders will be contacting them.

- Volunteers do not use the support groups as a venue for furthering their own private business interests.

- Certified Laughter Leaders are to follow Gilda’s Club or other support group’s guidelines.

- It is recommended to try monthly laughter sessions; however, it is best to work with the needs of the organization, and what is convenient for you.

- Scheduling should be arranged ahead of time with the director/coordinator. Commitments need to be honored. If you need to cancel, let your contact person know in advance.

- In addition to providing basic documentation to WLT, please let us know when you terminate your volunteer program.


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World Laughter Tour values your interest, support, contributions and cooperation in this endeavor. Laugh with us as we spread love and peace, health and healing.

Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.

Make everyday laffable!


 
Steve Wilson
President, Cheerman of the Bored

E-mail: steve@worldlaughtertour.com


 

Research Advisor
Nancy Westburg, PhD
Rider University, Dept. of Graduate Education and Human Services
Lawrenceville, New Jersey

 

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