What does a Rigologist look look like?

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Bonjour, mes amis! C’est moi, le Rigologist!

With my teacher Corinne Cosseron
An old joke has a very nervous 13 year-old Bar Mitzvah boy thinking so much about the presents he is about to receive that instead of saying “Today I am a man,” he distractedly starts his thank-you speech to the congregation with, “Today I am a fountain pen!”

Well, today, thanks to our good friends and colleagues Corinne and Fred Cosseron, I am Rigologist! I am not nervous, and I did receive two magnificent gifts: le beau chapeau rouge (beautiful red hat) you see in the photo above, and the masterful teachings of Corinne and Fred, who came from France to share wisdom, inspiration, and technique with me and eleven compatriots in Columbus, August 15-19, 2011.

From the website of the International School of Laughter (ISL): RIGOLOGY® and RIGOLOGIST® come from the French word “RIGOLO”, that means “funny” or “amusing” in child talk. « RIGOLOGY® » means  « the science of laughter and joie de vivre» « RIGOLOGIST® » is « the professional expert in laughter ».

A unique and very special workshop in Laughter is the Best Medicine
Pam and I organized the World Laughter Tour, Inc. (WLT) production of a 5-day course in Rigology. The curriculum highlighted the major topics covered in five weeks of education and training typically taught in France by Corinne and Fred Cosseron, founders of ISL, and their expert staff. It was conducted for the first time ever in the United States at Columbus, Ohio. Twelve professionals earned the title of Rigologist.

Working collaboratively brings the world closer together. Laughter is universal. Studying it together and having an open exchange of ideas connects us all with greater tolerance and better understanding of the human condition.

A baker’s dozen of Rigologists at USA workshop

Rigology, Steve Wilson and Corrine Cosseron  
Independently, Corinne and I have ventured around the world exploring and synthesizing the techniques that stimulate joyful living.

I am impressed by the parallel developments in the ISL (France) and the WLT (USA) certification in therapeutic laughter. Our methods overlap in some areas, diverge in others, and are very complementary. It is surely a zeitgeist, a sign of the times and great minds thinking alike! Both methods teach techniques of laughter and joyful living to health care and social workers as well as people working in education and businesses, and also to the public at large.

The ISL course included highlights of Playful Sophrology®, a technique developed in Bogota, (Colombia) using Indian cooperative games, clowning techniques especially oriented toward hospital care, various humor exercises from different countries, games for all  ages, playful exercises associating dance, rhythms, sounds, singing, touch, massages, hugs, and more. Participants engaged in guided imagery to find their “inner smile”, laughter meditation to clear the mind, and street clowning (not the circus type) to give away laughter and free hugs.

“From all corners of the world, unlimited imagination for celebrating provides a catharsis to help us digest events that are somewhat painful and which we all must sometime face,” Corinne explains. “All People recognize the universal therapeutic power of laughter, smiling, and positive feelings in general.”

Based on a synthesis of these findings, the course offered a toolbox combining many different techniques from all over the world. ISL co-founder Fred Cosseron said, “The goal is to offer to the grumpy westerners we have become, an array of efficient, quick, playful and funny tools intended to bring back laughter and joyful living  wherever it has disappeared − that is, everywhere!”

So, now there are 2 dozen “Rigologists”® in North America offering to all, and more specifically to health care professionals, social workers, and people working in education and businesses, the techniques for healthy and joyful living whose benefits are now scientifically proven. Plans are in the works to repeat the USA course in 2012.

For more information e-mail [email protected]

About the Author

Steve Wilson

Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor with a humanitarian mission. As Director of National Humor Month, he intertwines science and ancient wisdom with substance and humor to create practical methods to lead the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to be a rich resource and inspiration for improving productivity, health, and well being in business, healthcare and education. For more information https://www.worldlaughtertour.com and http://www.humormonth.com.