She died two months later. We never had a chance to meet.
I am referring here to the late Dr. Annette Goodheart (1935-2011), a psychologist from Santa Barbara, California, who pretty much invented laughter therapy as we know it today in the late 1960s and was the first to create a theoretical framework for the use of voluntary simulated laughter. She created a whole set of techniques on how to use laughter to release (and thereby provide relief from) strong or repressed emotions.
We had been in telephone contact for several years, talking about her possible coming to the USA to offer a training (she had retired in Mexico) but somehow it never worked out. In 2011 I gave up on the idea to have her fly to me and decided to fly to her instead. The trip was planned for early September. We confirmed in June. 4 weeks later she was dead, victim to an undiagnosed stage 4 cancer. I want to believe she transitioned laughing.
Her legacy lives on.
Below is an article by Oscar Visquert, a Laughter Therapist from Valencia, Spain, that documents one of the facets of what she taught.
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Everybody knows that every time we speak, we emit sounds inside us with words, but did you know that our tones of voice, chants and Laughter (in other words, our inner music and its harmonies), can be the trigger for the most pragmatic healing available to us?
This article reviews the main laughter sounds, and the surprising impact of their wavelengths on our physiology.
These resonances are directly related to the echo of the heartbeat, causing an acceleration -or tachycardia-, or a state of relaxation -or bradycardia-, depending on the intensity, frequency and movement used when expressing laughter.
Play with it and see for yourself.
HA (JA, BA, CA, DA)
It´s the most frequent vowel and you fully open your mouth in all its splendor, stretching yourself and expanding your breast. HA is the guffaw par excellence. When you laugh with the vowel A together with J, B, C, and D, It produces a vibration in the area of the kidneys, the hips and the tummy. And then it activates their functions and fill them with energy.
It activates suprarenal glands and acts on the adrenaline and the noradrenaline giving gusts of energy to the organism. It reduces the fear and strengthen the bravery. And what is more, it activates sex power in men and it is good for the ovaries and womb in women.
- Curative for the kidneys and bladder.
- Turns fear and apathy into bravery and enthusiasm.
- Activates sex power in men.
- Good for the ovaries and womb in women.
HE (FE, GE, HE)
It´s the diplomatic Laughter and, to a certain extent, it expresses subtlety. When you laugh with the vowel E together with F, G, and H, it produces a vibration under the ribs. It releases energy from the liver, the gall-bladder and the muscular tissue. It is effective for reducing the anger and the internal stress. It enhances tolerance, patience and facilitates the digestion process.
- Benefits the liver, gall-bladder.
- Improves the sense of sight.
- Strengthen tendons and muscles.
- Enhance acceptance and self-confidence.
- Facilitates the digestion process.
HI (JI, KI, LI, MI, NI)
Laughing with HI is optimistic and pleasant. This is a frolicking Laughter. When you laugh with the vowel I together with J, K, L, M, and N, it produces a vibration in the area of the neck and the heart. It enhances creativity and intuition. It acts on the nervous system and stimulates the thyroid gland. It helps to lose weight because the act of laughing reduces fatty acids and toxic substances and scientists have found that a good laugh is a calorie burner not to be ignored. It also acts in the small intestine and activates blood circulation, and so it´s appropriate in case of varicose veins.
- Relaxes and relieves neck strain.
- Benefits the heart and small intestine.
- Activates the circulatory system.
- Good for the nervous system. Stimulates the thyroid gland.
- Balances the sense of touch.
- Foster joy and enthusiasm.
- Enhances creativity and intuition.
- Helps to lose weight.
HO (PO, QO, RO, SO, TO)
When you laugh with the vowel O together with P, Q, R, S and T the vibration is transmitted to the head, and it affects the pineal gland, the hypophysis, the pituitary and the hypothalamus.
It releases energy from the digestive system (from the mouth to the anus), spleen and pancreas. This is a good laughter after dessert, because it helps you in the process of digestion and in case of cellulite treatment.
- Promotes good functioning of endocrine glands in the head.
- Good for the digestive system.
- Acts on connective tissues. Helps with cellulite treatment.
HU (VU, XU, YU, ZU)
It is a dark Laughter. The lowest tune and vibration but it is very powerful if you practice this laughter frequently. Laughing with the vowel U together with V, X, Y, and Z is highly recommended for releasing emotions and restore the balance of the large intestine when it becomes strained because of stress. It breaks the negative effects of painful thoughts, frustrations and mental blocks of the past.
- Releases emotions.
- Helps to dissolve painful memories and blocks from the past.
- Benefits the large intestine.
- Improves the sense of smell.
How this applies in the world of Laughter Coaching
Introduction To Laughter Coaching with Francis Monferrer