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Magic of Laughter

aughter is a physical, mental, social, spiritual and environmental tonic. It has tremendous potential for happiness. You don’t hear donkeys laughing, you don’t see buffaloes enjoying a joke. It is only man who can enjoy a joke, who can laugh. It is a special gift given by God only to human beings. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “If I did not have my sense of humour, I would have committed suicide.?/p>

The whole play of existence is so beautiful that laughter can be the only response to it. Laughter can be the only real prayer of gratitude. In Japan, a great mystic, Hotei, is called the Laughing Buddha. He is one of the most beloved mystics in Japan, and he never uttered a single word. As he attained enlightenment, he started laughing, and whenever somebody would ask why he was laughing, he would laugh more.

There is the story about a boss who was recounting to his staff some old stale anecdote which he had told many times. And everybody was laughing. They were all bored by his anecdote, but the boss is the boss and when the boss tells a joke you have to laugh. But one woman typist was not laughing. The boss turned to her and asked: “What is the matter with you? Why are you not laughing??/font>

She replied: “I am leaving soon.?/font>

Watch a small child; observe his/her laughter. It is so natural and spontaneous, it comes from the very centre of his being. When a child is born, the first social activity that the child learns is to smile, by which the child becomes a part of society. It has been scientifically documented that children laugh 400 times a day and an adult 10-15 times a day. If laughter begins in a group of people, it can grow into a chain reaction, breaking tension and increasing fellowship.

Humour and laughter are the most powerful tools to resolve difficult situations. Laughter brings strength. Now even medical science says that laughter is one of the most effective medicines nature has provided to man. If you can laugh when you are ill, you will get your health back sooner. If you cannot laugh, even if you are healthy sooner or later you will lose your health and become ill.

In a workshop conducted by Swami Sukhbodhananda that I attended, he pointed out that laughter and dancing are the best, most natural, easily approachable doors to good health. If you laugh and dance, suddenly your mind disappears and thinking stops. And if you experience a few moments of no-mind, those glimpses will bring you many more rewards. Your laughter and dance take you back to a state of childlike innocence ?so natural, so true.

The Swami added that if you find it difficult to laugh, try to visualise a person whom you dislike or who irritates you as if he/she is wearing a funny dress, dancing like Michael Jackson or has a funny expression on his/her face. You will immediately start laughing, which will relieve your stress. This is called the “Cartoon Technique?

Tips to remember

l Laugh at least 15 times a day if you want to be healthy.

l Do not laugh at others, laugh with them.

l Laugh without a reason.

l Laughter should be unconditional.

l  Get up in the morning with a smile and say “Good morning?to the Lord.

l  Make sure that your face always wears a pleasant smile. We are not completely dressed if we do not wear a smile on our face.

l Those who laugh are healthy, happy, at peace.

Nowadays, people take everything so seriously that it becomes a burden for them to laugh. Learn to laugh more. Laughter is as sacred as a prayer.

Always keep in mind the four Ls: Life, Love, Laughter, Light.

Nariman Bacha
Personnel Administration


Ouch! The Slip Of A Disc

he spine is made up of stacked bones called vertebrae. In between each of the vertebrae are soft cushions called discs that act as shock absorbers. Each disc has a spongy centre and a tough outer ring. There is a constant exchange of fluids in and out of the discs. While we sleep, the discs fill with fluid. During the day, as we stand and sit, the fluid is pushed out.

Our movements such as sudden jerks, bending, or lifting heavy objects, and poor posture while sleeping or sitting, affect the size, shape, flexibility and health of our discs.

Despite the common term, discs do not slip or fall out, they tear, bulge and rupture. This causes the inside portion of the disc to put pressure on the nearby nerves. Whenever muscles fail to take the pressure and nerves come under pressure instead, the result is unbearable pain. The excruciating pain that results is diagnosed as a Slipped Disc.

When there is damage to a disc, there is pain and numbness in the back, arms, or legs. A sequence of rest, medication, ice, physical therapy and exercise may get you through this acute phase. If the symptoms of pain and numbness caused by pressure on the spinal cord continue without treatment, there is a possibility of permanent loss of feeling and some loss of function in other parts of the body as well.

Over time, poor posture causes the discs to wear out. Just like a sponge, the discs are wrung out and cannot do their job. Poor disc health usually starts with poor posture.

To prevent further injury:

  • Relieve pain or tight muscles with physiotherapeutic modalities.

  • Strengthen weak or tight muscles that do not support the back’s normal curves.

  • Sit with adequate back support.

  • Stop slouching when sitting or standing.

  • Use proper lifting movements.

  • Keep your weight under control.

  • Maintain a strong, flexible body that will hold good posture easily and for a long time.

  • Do not smoke. Smoking changes the fluid balance in your discs, thus injuring them sooner and taking longer to heal.

  • Avoid mental stress.

  • Women need to take extra care during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

  • Do back exercises on a regular basis.

Dr. Sunita Dave
Physiotherapy Department
Godrej Colony Dispensary

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A Personal Experience

he March-April 2004 issue of CHANGE carried an interesting article on the benefits of physiotherapy, entitled “Physiotherapy: Moving Spirit for the Immobile?by Nariman Bacha of our Personnel Administration Department. In this piece, I’d like to share my personal experience of physiotherapy at the Godrej Colony Dispensary.

Approximately six months ago, a severe pain in my lower back sent me on a round of several doctors, including an orthopaedic consultant. The process also included a rather claustrophobic MRI test. The verdict: a herniated disc in the lumbar region. The treatment prescribed: rest, painkillers and, if the problem persists, surgery to remove the offending disc!

Since I could not take any rest, having just taken up a new assignment, and surgery being a daunting proposition, I decided to go to the Colony Dispensary for a physiotherapy regimen, where Dr. M.G. Bhatia and Dr. Sunita Dave, who run the clinic, promptly took over my case.

To begin with, I was put on a course of short-wave diathermy, interferential current therapy and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) to relieve the pain and inflammation. This worked wonders after a few days of treatment.

The next step was a series of simple exercises for the “rehabilitation?of the back. The difficult part was to do these regularly at home. But the very thought of surgery was motivation enough to continue exercising regularly!

Once I started on the postural correction exercises, the pain just vanished. Dr. Dave has now pronounced my back to be fully rehabilitated and ?the difficult part is yet to come ?has prescribed a further set of exercises to keep me permanently fit! I am presently grappling with this new exercise regimen.

I must say that we have an excellent Physiotherapy Department in our Dispensary headed by a very dedicated, committed, competent and strict physiotherapist in Sunita Dave. So, if you have a problem which requires physiotherapy ?and I hope you don’t ? you know where to go.

B.N. Doongaji
Retailing Department