Last month I gave a mini-workshop on Laughter Yoga to a group of 12 ladies at one to their Breast Cancer Support meetings in Salisbury. All were keen to participate fully and enjoyed the laughter exercises as well as the spontaneous, contagious and conversational laughter that ensued. During the evening participants experienced several laughter inducing exercises aimed at getting in touch with their inner child. They were also introduced to deep breathing exercises and some of the fundamentals of Laughter Yoga. A book on lymphatics on the bookcase kept staring in my face as I was facilitating the group. This was a strong reminder of the reasons why I was promoting Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga positively impacts upon our lymphatic system and, whilst promoting positive thinking, goes well beyond it. Often overlooked as a serious topic of scientific study, laughter has, nevertheless, been shown to strengthen the immune system and the Killer T cell response. By decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells, laughter promotes our resistance to disease. Among other functions, the lymphatic system helps remove and destroy waste, debris, pathogens, toxins and cancer cells. Unlike blood which flows throughout the body in a continuous loop thanks to the heart, the lymphatic system has no pump of its own. Instead, the system relies entirely on the movement of muscles in the body to circulate lymph in its own system in an upward direction towards the neck. So any muscular movement is important for lymphatic flow. If you are ill, not very mobile or stuck in a sedentary job, laughter and deep diaphragmatic breathing might prove to be the most painless and beneficial tools to move more lymph and keep your lymph system functioning efficiently. Belly laughter triggers diaphragmatic breathing as your diaphragm flutters up and down at a very quick rate. This action generates pressure against the central lymphatic vessel in the middle of your body, making your diaphragm into a powerful pump for your lymphatic circulation: an increased lymphatic flow means an elevated improved immune system by producing more lymphocytes and anti-bodies. Research in a cancer vaccine is looking at stimulating the immune system to produce more T cell to attack the cancer cells. Whilst waiting for the vaccine to be made available, you could start choosing to laugh more, in whichever way you please: whether you engage in Laughter Yoga or you connect with people who make you laugh. Natural and inherent to human beings, laughter (or just a smile) does not require any particular level of fitness: It is free and always available within you, regardless of your circumstances. Marie-Ange is a qualified Alexander Technique teacher, Dru Yoga and Laughter Yoga teacher. She practices in Wilton and Salisbury and can be contacted on 07804041005.