Mary Beth Fissgus-Schramlin, LCSW has been in the field of mental health for 38 years, more than 17 of those in outpatient private practice. She completed the two year training program at The Family Institute of Chicago in 1979 and received her Master's degree from The University of Chicago in 1985.
Her interest in guided imagery and mindfulness meditation practice began in 2002 and has continued to grow through workshops, readings, and the development of her own mindful practice. In 2011 she completed an eight week Mindful Course for professionals and in 2013 was certified as a Meditation Instructor and a Laughter Yoga Leader.
Laughter Yoga is a form of yoga employing self-triggered laughter. The "laughter" is physical in nature, and does not necessarily involve humor or comedy. The concept was developed by Indian guru Jiten Kohi and made popular as an exercise routine by Indian physician Madan Kataria. Dr. Kataria describes the practice in his book Laugh For No Reason. The elements of laughter yoga include laughing, breathing, stretching, moving, clapping, chanting, playfulness, eye contact and positive regard. Using continuous, unconditional laughter with short breaks of yogic breathing, it becomes a laughter delivery system with proven benefits for mind and body. Health benefits of laughter yoga include a reduction in stress (lowers adrenaline; negates cortisol); energizes the lymphatic system (increases lymphocytes); reduces anxiety, depression and relieves pain (releases endorphins); strengthens immune system (improves resistance, speedier recovery); and improves the circulatory system (strengthens heart, increases respiration, dilates blood vessels). Additional benefits include a boost in self-confidence, creativity, compassion and serenity while encouraging generosity. Laughter Yoga promotes the 3 H's - health, happiness and harmony.