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Columbus Memory Center looking to bring ‘Columbus Laughs’ therapy to the community

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:19 PM EST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published November 12, 2020 at 8:25 PM EST - Updated November 12 at 9:10 PM wtvm.com)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (Great Health Divide) - The Columbus Memory Center hopes to partner with Columbus City Council to bring what it’s calling “Columbus Laughs” to the community.

The program would offer free laughing exercises that could be found online that are designed to ultimately increase happiness and decrease stress.

Dr. Jonathan Liss is the director of Columbus Memory Center and said this sort of medicine can be helpful to those struggling with mental health and can be done at home.

“You feel, I have to say, a little bit stupid doing it,” said Liss. “You are laughing without jokes. You are just going through the exercise of laughing. Doing the exercises of smiling, doing the deep ha ha ha’s, the high pitched he he he’s. And what is so amazing is that after five minutes of exercise or 10 minutes of exercise, you actually feel better.”

Liss said this laughter therapy can even improve your overall health since it activates the reward center of the brain and suppresses the brain’s pain center. There is no final word on when and if city council will partner with the Columbus Memory Center, but given the success of the project, Liss is confident Columbus Laughs will be a hit.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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