Finding your inner laugh - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Finding your inner laugh

Madison (WKOW) -- Studies show we benefit from laughing - not just physically, but also mentally.

  In this Someone You Should Know, Diana Henry introduces us to someone who helps people find their inner laugh.

  You've probably heard the saying "laughter is the best medicine."

  According to researchers, laughing reduces stress and is even equivalent to a work out.

  So we ease a little of that holiday stress as we meet Christina Crall-Reed.

  It may sound a little silly.

  It may even look a little silly.

  But everyone here will leave feeling a little better.

  That's because even contrived laughter can give you an attitude boost.

  Christina Crall-Reed is the head of this group of laughers.

  She is a certified, yes, certified, laughter leader.

  Christina said, "I didn't know there is any such thing and when I found out there was I thought it was a joke. It turns out it is kind of a joke, but a really good one."

  Christina leads laugh workshops like this one at the Madison Senior Center.

  Christina also said, "tee-hee, ha-ha, ho-ho. Those are the basic sounds of laughter."

  It is a little bit of a workout.

  "I really don't want to be held liable if you giggle and fall off your chair," she added.

  So a medical consent form even circulates the room.

  Christina describes what parts of the body generate the three different laughs.

  Like many, Christina has had to overcome her own challenges in life, often with the use of humor.

  She said, "I've twice been struck by lightning. I am a cancer survivor.  Through laughter, through humor I've found a way to deal with all sorts of negative things."

  So maybe laughing really is the best medicine.

  Christina also said, "see, laughter can be spontaneous but it is always, always contagious."

  It definitely is.

  My photographer even caught me laughing.

  Christina added, "the more we laugh, the better we feel."

  Christina said kids do a lot more laughing than adults.

  She says children laugh or smile 400 times a day.

  Adults - just 12!

  Right now, especially with holiday stress and the current economy, we could all use a little more laughter in your lives.

  Christina Crall-Reed is someone you should know.

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