Therapy session helps 80 participants chase worries away

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 26 Aug 2012

Don’t worry, be haha-happy: Sukhveer (right) conducting the laughter therapy session at the LohGuanLye Specialist Centre in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Loud, hearty laughter echoed through the auditor- ium as some 80 people including cancer patients and survivors participated in a laughter therapy session at the LohGuanLye Specialist Centre here.

Under the guidance of Sukhveer Kaur, 47, who is the founder of Himmat Support Group, the participants laughed “like there was no tomorrow”.

During the session, Sukhveer made the participants pretend to order a plate of char koay teow, grab chopsticks and go “yum! yum! yum!”

She then went “Wah! Hot, hot, hot!” and fanned her mouth to make it look as if the dish was too spicy.

Following this, she told them to pretend to make teh tarik and to drink it while laughing their hearts out.

Sukhveer told them to bring out the laughter from well within them and to breathe from deep inside.

“One minute of hearty laughter from the belly is like 30 minutes on a rowing machine,” she said.

Sukhveer, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer four years ago, said she had learned about laughter therapy from Lee-Jean Fung, a laughter yoga teacher who conducts similar laughter therapy sessions in Johor Baru.

“Stress kills faster than any illness,” she said, adding that she started the therapy in Penang last year.

“Laughing releases endorphins and is infectious,” she said.

The centre's oncologist Dr Kevin Hew said thinking positive and being happy could make a person feel better.

Participant Pek Sok Eng, 67, a cancer survivor, said it was her second time joining the session.

“I would encourage others to come as it has made me feel happy,” she said.

The session was organised by the Among Friends Cancer Support Group.

It will be held again at 2.30pm on Sept 29 at the same hospital.

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