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    Default Laughter. The Best Medicine

    Humour is key to happy relationships

    Times Colonist Published: Thursday, September 18, 2008

    The No.1 key to great relationships and incredible sex is laughter, says Mark Gungor.

    And the motivational speaker, who heads a company called Laugh Your Way America and is also Pastor of Bayside Church in Greenbay Wis., will get the giggles going at Saanichton on Saturday, Sept. 27. He will present a day-long workshop on DVD, called Laugh Your Way to Better Relationships.

    "Mark Gungor is one of the top marriage and family speakers in the United States and his illustrations are really, really funny," says Gail Schultz, director of the Centre for Self Awareness -- 7925 East Saanich Rd, -- where his DVD is being shown.

    It will explore underlying themes and motivations in male/female relationships, she said, "and his humour makes is so enjoyable, effective and memorable."

    In the morning Gungor will discuss how and why men and women are wired differently.

    After lunch he will explain how to get the mojo back with five simple steps to "mind-blowing" love making, and in the afternoon he will discuss "how to stay married and not kill anybody,"

    Gungor has a daily radio program heard on 250 American radio stations and recently signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster on the same subject.

    His DVD will be shown from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and tickets are $20/$30 per couple. Call 250-544-0005 Monday to Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. or see www.victoriacsa.com

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
    ===
    Laughter is the best medicine

    Maurice Tougas, Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Everyone needs a good laugh. And nobody knows that better than Billy Strean.

    Indeed, Prof. Strean -- a PhD and PHD, or Professional Humour Dude, as he says -- has made a name for himself as an academic who takes humour seriously.

    His serious dedication to laughter and teaching has earned Strean, a physical education and recreation professor, a Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the gold medal of teaching awards at the university.

    Strean teaches classes like structure and strategy of games, communication strategies in sports and physical education, graduate courses in coaching, and a course about play as a foundation of sports, recreation and physical activity.

    Sounds like fun -- and it is -- but there is serious science behind the fun and games.

    Laughter's physical benefits are well documented. A good belly laugh is a workout for your cardiovascular, muscular and digestive systems, and is great for your state of mind.

    While Strean has become known for linking humour and teaching, he's not a standup comic. In a manner befitting a PhD, he makes a distinction between humour and comedy.

    Comedy, he says, is the sitcom on TV, or the standup comic, or the cocktail party joke.

    Humour, however, is more of a feeling or an experience, and one that makes for a better learning environment.

    "If there is a mood of lightness and we're not taking ourselves too seriously, people are far more open to ideas, to taking risks," Strean says.

    "If we're playing, it's OK to make mistakes. That's a big part of what I consider humour in the classroom."

    A humorous atmosphere makes people more open to learning, Strean believes.

    Strean quotes John Cleese, the lanky British comic genius behind Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers, as saying "If I make you laugh, you'll probably like me better, and you'll be more open to my ideas. That's part of the mood and spirit of humour in the classroom."

    In laughter workshops he has conducted for thousands of participants, Strean makes the distinction between laughter (which is universal and physical) and humour (which is culturally-bound, psychological and subjective).

    "You don't even have to speak the same language or same cultural background, but just through seeing smiling faces and hearing the sound of laughter and doing laughter exercises, everyone will laugh together."

    While the prospect of attempting to be humorous while teaching or during a presentation may be terrifying to most -- and potentially painfully unfunny -- you don't have to be Rodney Dangerfield to get people laughing. Adding humour to a classroom might be as simple as including an amusing cartoon in a presentation, or wearing a costume one day to create a comedy connection between student and teacher.

    Strean comes by his interest in humour and psychology honestly. Both his parents were social workers, and his father was also a psychoanalyst with an interest in jokes; he wrote two books about jokes in psychotherapy and their meaning and purpose.

    Strean combined his love of sports with his interest in what makes people tick, leading to studies in sport psychology.

    He was directed toward a humour conference, which led to training in 2004 to become a "Certified Laughter Leader," an honour bestowed upon him by Steve Wilson, an Ohio psychologist who founded the World Laughter Tour (worldlaughtertour.com). Since getting his certification in funny, Strean has conducted laughter workshops for thousands of people in all walks of life.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 09-18-2008 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default

    The No.1 key to great relationships and incredible sex is laughter
    ...unless she's pointing and laughing...
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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