Laughnosis comes to Australia: guest interview with Dave Berman

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Laughnosis. It’s the newest derivation of laughing for wellbeing and it’s making its way to Australia for the first time in a few weeks.

American clinical hypnotist  and certified laughter yoga teacher Dave Berman is Laughnosis co-developer. He’s also behind the YouTube Channel Daily Laughers that, since 1 January 2016, has encouraged viewers to laugh as an exercise form, daily, without jokes or comedy.

Portrait of clinical hypnotist Dave BermanWith tickets on sale now for 2-day Laughnosis training in March in Melbourne and Sydney followed by 1-day presentations in Adelaide and Perth—all part of his #HelpTheWorldLaugh global tour—Dave Berman spared me time to answer a few burning questions.

HeatherJoy: Why is laughter a good daily practice?

Dave Berman: While it’s true that laughter is the sound of joyful breathing and we have to breathe every day, that’s oversimplified.

Really laughter creates changes in us—physiological and psychological. Some are immediate like feeling energised and happy; even reducing pain. Others—like improving the immune system—build up over time.

Practised daily, 10 to 20 minutes at a time, laughter can retrain the brain to give us an outlook on life to one that’s more positive, accepting and resilient.

Plus we can do it without special clothes or equipment, alone or with others, anywhere. It is for people of all ages and fitness levels too.

HeatherJoy: And you saw this in your clients?

Dave Berman: Yes, I saw benefits in myself first and then as I explored also in my clients. I started laughter yoga soon after opening my hypnosis and coaching practice in 2010. At first, laughter yoga was a hobby for me. Very quickly I experienced how laughter helped me reduce stress and anxiety, take life less seriously and build connections with people. And I saw my clients experience clear differences too.

HeatherJoy: Explain the essence of Laughnosis please.

Dave Berman: Both hypnosis and laughter yoga share mind/body science. We know the body can’t tell the difference between something real and something vividly imagined in hypnosis. We also know the body does not discern a difference between laughing because something is funny and just  laughing: choosing to laugh on purpose as done in laughter yoga. Laughnosis represents the intersection of intentional laughter and conversational hypnosis. It’s a new understanding that leads to techniques helping  professionals—clinical hypnotists, doctors, nurses, life coaches, psychologists for example—can employ for ethical influence of thoughts, feelings, actions and results in their patients and clients. Plus it’s fun.

HeatherJoy: You’ve just spent a few weeks with Laughter Yoga founder Dr Madan Kataria, fine-tuning your own knowledge and techniques. Was there an ‘AHA’ moment for you in India?

Dave Berman: I was surprised to discover that people skilled at facilitating Yoga Nidra were unaware of how they were actually doing hypnosis. Also, I was surprised to discover how much Yoga Nidra matches up with what I know as hypnosis.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised because there are so often misconceptions and misunderstandings of what hypnosis is and how it works. It is really a shift in our state of awareness from being externally to internally oriented, bypassing the ‘critical faculty’ or barrier of conscious thought to access the subconscious. This is a key premise for Laughnosis because when we give ourselves over to hearty intentional laughter, we experience this same shift in awareness that makes us more receptive to suggestions. That’s an ideal condition to have people in when they’re seeking your help.

HeatherJoy:  Who may be the key beneficiaries of Laughnosis?

Dave Berman: In the end, the real beneficiaries will be the patients and clients of professionals who learn about Laughnosis as a way to work with stress, anxiety, fear, panic and other emotional issues. Many people with training as facilitators of laughter yoga want to move into coaching work and this will give them useful skills.

 

I’ll be attending Dave Berman’s Laughnosis training in Melbourne 2-3 March and blogging about it  afterwards.

Dave’s other Australian stops on the #HelpTheWorldLaugh global tour include:

Sydney 11-12 March

Adelaide 15 March

Perth 18 March.

While traveling, Dave will be working on another book (he co-wrote Laughter for the Health of It, published in 2015) and a documentary, uploading more inspirational clips to his YouTube channel and running laughter leader and Laughnosis training in Europe.

 

(c) Heather Joy aka Heather Joy Campbell 2017

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It has been scientifically proven that 20 minutes of laughter reaps real physiological benefits.

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"Heather Joy’s laughter yoga session was the most fun I’ve had at work in a long time! It was great to do it as a group – a team building exercise in itself. I definitely got a dose of therapy and endorphins, a workout for my lungs, and came away with a new tool to de-stress at the end of a day."

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