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Archive for August 22nd, 2010

LAUGHTER THERAPY

Laughter Therapy made the front page of the New York Times yesterday. People are getting together to laugh, about something or nothing, just to laugh. There’s a laugh therapist to get them started. They laugh for an hour.  Then they feel better, their physical pains are gone and they feel no anxiety, go home and sleep soundly for the first time in days.  This is news?  Don’t make me laugh.  I’ve been working as a professional laughter therapist since 1989 when I hung out my shingle, which says:  Caricatures by Katherine Hilden. It’s well known that laughter dilates the arteries; lowers blood pressure; reduces anxiety;  reduces stress hormones; increases muscle flexion; trims the abdomen; boosts the immune function;  triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and produces a general sense of well-being.  I didn’t know any of this when I started drawing caricatures professionally.  I thought I did it because I was good at it, I enjoyed it and people were throwing money at me for making their guests laugh. Over the years I’ve been reading about the health benefits of laughter and lo and behold I’m actually doing a good deed when I draw people funny. Not that I’m one of Oprah’s angels, but I must tell you that for me the fist-full of money I get for drawing people at a party is not enough.  I get a tremendous satisfaction from seeing them crack up and laugh uncontrollably.  It’s hard for me to get a shot of this reaction because it’s so fast,  but some of the videos I have on YouTube show it.  Here are some links that may crack you up.  Hey, it’s good for you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLX2G9ea8C4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwbKp-g3uI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk5x8PQIhfE

www.khilden.com

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