JAMESBURG: Residents find reason to enjoy a good laugh

A dozen people learn healthy healing power

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
JAMESBURG — People here like a good laugh.
   Enough that a dozen of them took part in a worldwide celebration of World Laughter Day held at Veteran’s Park on May 5.
   Noreen Braman, a laughter wellness instructor, hosted the local World Laughter Day.
   ”This was a fun event to participate in,” said Mayor Marlene Lowande. “Noreen has been running this program in the borough once a month now since the beginning of the year.”
   World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement, according to Ms. Braman.
   Around 12 people participated in the celebration, which included a variety of activities ranging from breathing exercises, laughter exercises, games, to even bubble blowing.
   ”It was a small turnout, but it was the first one here and hopefully each year it will grow,” Mayor Lowande said. “Laughter is good for everyone and Noreen does a great job making it fun.”
   ”The celebration is intended to increase understanding and friendship through laughter,” said Ms. Braman. “The Laughter Yoga movement now is counting thousands of Laughter Clubs in more than 72 countries.”
   Jamesburg has its own Smile Side of Life Laughter & Happiness Club, which meets in the Jamesburg Senior/Rec Center once a month.
   According to Ms. Braman, it is how the “town became interested in laughter wellness” through hosting this club.
   The Smile Side of Life Laughter & Happiness Club is open to ages 16 and up, and the only requirements are to bring enthusiasm and a smile, according to Ms. Braman.
   For Ms. Braman, the highlight of the laughter was really the concept that anything — for no particular reason — can make you laugh and can come from anyone, no matter how big or small.
   ”The interaction between people from several generations, including two babies, can exemplify the idea that you can laugh for no reason,” Ms. Braman said.