If someone were to walk into a room full of students and faculty lying on the ground laughing themselves into oblivion, one might insist on sending them to the looney bin.
Students attend the laughter wellness workshop held at the Valle Verde cafeteria annex on March 20 by Sebastien Gendry (pointing).
According to laughter therapist and creator of the Laughter Wellness Method, Sebastien Gendry, we all have the power within us to improve our health, relationships, and academic success, if we could all just learn to laugh.
“A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones,” Gendry stated before welcoming students and faculty into one of several sessions held on March 20 at the Valle Verde campus.
According to Gendry, most problems can be a matter of perception rather than circumstance.
“Where thoughts go energy goes…The path is not to change others,” he said.
“The path is to change yourself.”
Gendry sessions were all held at the Valle Verde campus with two on Monday morning beginning at 10 a.m. in the cafeteria followed by another 2 p.m. session at the gym.
Each session last Monday ran for a total of 80 minutes, leaving students like Michael Vales glad they attended.
“I was amazed that laughter can make such a big difference.”
Even students who weren’t in the best state of mind found themselves pleasantly surprised.
“I was having a bad day, so I decided to come by and he made me laugh,” said Lesley Martinez.
When asked if she felt the session would help her in the future she confidently replied, “Yes. It will help.”
Gendry also hosted a free session open to the public last Friday at 5:30 p.m. inside of the Valle Verde cafeteria and invited especially enthusiastic individuals to attend a special “Train the Trainer” workshop aimed to teach others how to become laughter therapists themselves.
The specialized workshops were held last Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the cost of $125 a day per person or $245 for both days.
“The purpose of todays’ session is to engage very simple movements to shift our inner chemistry… and to learn to create and sustain positive energies,” said Gendry.
Furthermore, Gendry points out how, “Happy students, happy teachers, and happy teachers, happy students, it works both ways.”
These series of workshops are the brain-child of EPCC Assistant Professor of Speech, Eddie Trevizo, and speech professor Linda Brown, Ph.D. Trevizo who first came across Gendry while attending a similar session with friends in Albuquerque, NM nearly seven years ago.
“It changed my life,” said Trevizo, who attributes Gendry’s technique with better student retention, grades and graduation rates, “all because of laughter.”
Although laughter can heal, Trevizo made it clear that both he and Gendry, do not approve of laughter at the expense of others.
As Trevizo put it, “Laugh with me, not at me.”
The workshops were made possible by a mini-grant pushed by Trevizo with the intent to “expose students to laughter and positive energy.”
Trevizo said that after the Dean's approval, it came before the committee.
“Luckily they approved,” said Trevizo.
“This is a once in a lifetime event for most people.”
Although Gendry has traveled internationally to Istanbul, Russia, South Africa, and Europe to promote Laughter Wellness, this is his first time in the Sun City.
If you could not attend the events last week and would like to learn more, Gendry’s website is www.LaughterWellness.org and www.LaughterOnlineUniversity.com