Sing to beat Parkinsons

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Courtesy Canterbury Cantata Trust, UK

Those of us who practise laughter yoga know its health benefits are bountiful. We’re also aware of strong correlations between benefits derived from laughing and another joyful activity, singing.

I am aware that people with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from laughter wellbeing exercises.

Now I see that researchers at Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre are recruiting people with Parkinson’s and their carers to join 2 weekly singing groups—either South Bank in Brisbane or North Lakes—to evaluate whether singing can help improve the communication skills and mental outlook of people with Parkinson’s disease.

If you know someone who’d be interested, contact the QCRC by telephone on (07) 3735 6335 or

The 6-month project is based on the Canterbury Cantata Trust’s Sing to Beat Parkinson’s program and is expected to culminate in a public performance in November 2017. 

Music therapist and research fellow Dr Yoon Irons believes in the healing power of song.

“I believe singing can be a medicine and it can change lives,” she says.

“When you sing, it engages your breathing, your vocal cords, your facial muscles and memory – so many areas of the brain are being stimulated and reconnected.”

  • Heather Joy Campbell 2017


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


"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."

- Suzie Christiansen, CEO, Anglicare Central Queensland, October 2016

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