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Laughter is the best medicine

They say laughter is the best medicine and you can get your dose each month right here in Docklands.

Docklands’ own laughter club meets on the first Saturday of every month at Buluk Park and offers locals the chance to let loose and have a giggle.

Mahes Karuppiah-Quillen (pictured left) runs the Docklands club and is also the president of Laughter Clubs Victoria.

She says laughter can have a powerful impact on the mind and body.

“The mind works in association and so the minute you start smiling the brain begins to think something happy or funny is about to happen. This sort of association has been formed over our lives. So when your brain starts thinking something fun, joyful or happy is going to happy it starts making the biochemical changes.”

In the case of laughter clubs, the aim is to simulate laughter rather using humour or comedy to prompt laughter. This is a form or aerobic exercise known as yoga laughter or exercise laughter.

According to Mahes, when you start simulating laughter, the physical action creates emotion, which travels through the central nervous system to trigger the pituitary glands to release endorphins.

“We encourage people to read funny things, learn jokes and share them with other people. The only thing is that we can become desensitised to jokes,” Mahes said. “With exercise laughter you can do it every day as many times as you want, especially when you need it most like when you’ve had a hard day.”

Mahes said first-time visitors to the Docklands Laughter Club could expect to go home with sore smile muscles, a sense of curiosity and pleasant feelings.

“Then they’ll start feeling good and thinking ‘that was nice’ and they’ll want to come back,” Mahes said.

“Laughter clubs are perfect for the inner-city environment where we need to be encouraging more community activities”

“It’s good to get out and meet other people,” Mahes said. “You never know when you might meet some new friends.”

The monthly Docklands Laughter Club sessions run for half an hour between 10am and 10.30am on the first Saturday of the month at Buluk Park and are followed by meditation. It’s free to attend, with all laughter clubs throughout Victoria run by volunteers as a community service.

Next month, laughter clubs from around the world will be gathering in celebration of World Laughter Day on May 1.

“People from all over the world will be getting people together to laugh, to spread wellness, happiness and joy,” Mahes said.

The Victorian celebration will be held at St Paul’s Court at Federation Square on Sunday, May 1 from 11am – 12pm.

Laughter Clubs Victoria invites everyone to come along and join in the laughter for good health, happiness and world peace.

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