My latest copy of the New Yorker arrived several days ago. One of the articles is "The Laughing Guru, Madan Kataria's prescription for total well-being." Kataria, a medical doctor from India, preaches and teaches Laughter Yoga, a loosely organized and fluid discipline that promotes laughter as a...well, as a "prescription for total well-being." Kataria is described as "an exceptional fake laugher" who inspires spontaneous laughter among his devotees without the aid of jokes or funny stories.
The whole thing seems a bit far-fetched to me, especially when they claim that laughter can not only alleviate pain, but also mitigate Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, improve multiple sclerosis, benefit asthma patients, boost immunity, and improve the survival chances of cancer patients. Then again, maybe it can.
Ocracokers laugh a lot (see yesterday's post) -- at home, on the porch of the Community Store, at potluck dinners, at parties, in the Pub, at poker games, down at the docks....
Perhaps that's why so many Ocracoke residents live so long (Ann Howard lived to be 117 years old...you can see her tombstone in the old George Howard cemetery on British Cemetery Road).
Don't forget to laugh (at yourself, if necessary). It's good for the soul...and apparently for the body also.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter, Looking for the Wahabs of Ocracoke, was written by Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082110.htm.