Laughter Yoga is not a substitute for medical consultation for physical, mental and psychological illnesses, but is a powerful natural complementary form of healing. It is like any other aerobic exercise and may not be suitable for everyone as it involves some physical strain and a rise in intra-abdominal pressure.

Some people may have pre-existing medical conditions and one should take reasonable precaution before doing laughter exercises, or indeed any form of exercise.

It is contra-indicated for people suffering from –
Any kind of hernia, heart disease with angina pain, persistent cough with breathlessness, uncontrolled high blood pressure, incontinence of urine, epilepsy, advanced (bleeding) piles and haemorrhoids or any bleeding tendencies in any part of the body, severe backache, any acute symptoms of cough, cold and fever.

People who have undergone major surgery should wait at least three months before doing Laughter Yoga. If in doubt, first consult a medical professional for guidance.

Anyone undergoing physician-prescribed therapy that experiences improvements through laughter should seek the advice of their doctor before reducing dosage or stopping treatment.

Relative contra-indications

Those suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure but are stable on medication and can take a brisk walk for 30 minutes without any symptoms can do Laughter Yoga with advice from medical specialists.

People who have undergone surgery can also do Laughter Yoga after their stress test is normal.

Pregnancy is also a relative contra-indication. Women with previous history of miscarriages and also those who are in the advanced stage of their pregnancy should take medical advice from specialists before doing laughter exercises.

People suffering from minor and major psychiatric disorders can participate in a laughter session except those who are not in touch with reality, e.g. Schizophrenia, Hyper mania (manic part of bipolar depression).

Laughter Yoga is like any other aerobic exercise. Should you experience any discomfort, please discontinue and get medical advice.

Please use your common sense. If you feel sudden or new pain during the session, please leave the session immediately, or advise the leader if you require assistance.

Minor discomforts after doing Laughter Yoga

Heaviness in the head or mild headache:

Some people complain about heaviness in the head or mild to moderate headache after doing Laughter Yoga exercises. This is quite common, and it settles down on its own. However, if it continues it may be due to excessive force being applied during laughter exercises.

Take it easy, and do the laughter exercises gently. Put more emphasis on feelings and enjoying the exercises rather than applying force.

Other possibilities of persistent headache after Laughter Yoga exercises are high blood pressure and chronic migraine headaches. People must get their blood pressure checked if they are on the borderline of these conditions or have hypertension before doing Laughter Yoga exercises.

We have had many people suffering from migraine headaches for years who have benefited from doing Laughter Yoga. As one of the reasons for precipitation of migraine attacks is stress and pent-up emotions, Laughter Yoga acts as an emotional release.

Throat irritation and dry cough:

Another common complaint is irritation in the throat or mild cough. This is also quite normal and people should be reassured and advised not to laugh too hard.