Dr. Kataria originally suggested that clubs — which are offered free — meet outdoors early in the morning for 15 or 20 minutes, and have at least 25 to 30 members.
But the practice has become more relaxed in North America. "Our first principle is to do whatever you are comfortable with," says Steve Wilson, an Ohio psychologist and self-proclaimed "joyologist" who heads up laughter leader training in North America.
Ms. Lawrence starts her Toronto session with some light stretching, and then moves on to the main event: The women gather in a circle and Ms. Lawrence introduces the various laughs. The trademark of the clubs is a "ho-ho-ha-ha-ha" laugh, punctuated by hand claps to get the blood circulating, repeated at regular intervals.
In between come what Ms. Lawrence calls the "cocktail laugh" (the kind of snickering you emit over drinks), the lion laugh (tongue stuck out, hands posed like lion paws, and a roar), the argument laugh ("your body language is angry but you look happy") and the "vowel movement."
—Stephen Strauss, "Laughter: The best medicine?," The Globe and Mail, May 24, 2003
—“No laughing matter,” The Independent (London), January 17, 1999
Make people laugh, especially the elderly and infirm.
—Bo Poertner, "If El Carim has his way, reviving the Laughter Society will be his next miracle," Orlando Sentinel, September 28, 1996