Neuroplasticity is ongoing when we practice Laughter Yoga regularly because of the new conditioning we create and the new neuro pathways that are forming. By ‘regularly’ it is recommended to laugh on a daily basis, with willingness and positive intent. Laughter Yoga is a great example of an exercise regime that can change your physiology and one where you can have fun at the same time.

Training your brain to be positive is not so different from training your muscles at the gym. Recent research on neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood—reveals that as you develop new habits, you rewire the brain.

Because we add some more challenging and playful movements in our Laughter Sessions more neuroplasticity occurs, it does not matter what a persons age is, we have the opportunity to open and grow new pathways (neurons) in our brain and continue to learn and grow, the saying ‘you lose it if you don’t use it’ is true, it is very important to do new challenging things, the more often, the better it is for us.

Ha ha ha, try walking backwards and chanting Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha backwards, is an example of something new which will stimulate new brain neurons. Brain Gym is similar in this respect. Try doing everyday tasks in a different way, with the non dominant hand, arm, leg etc.

Neuroplasticity (from neural – pertaining to the nerves and/or brain and plastic – mouldable or changeable in structure) refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behaviour, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury.

Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how – and in which ways – the brain changes throughout life.

Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognised in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage. During most of the 20th century, the general consensus among neuroscientists was that brain structure is relatively immutable after a critical period during early childhood. This belief has been challenged by findings revealing that many aspects of the brain remain plastic even into adulthood.

Hubel and Wiesel had demonstrated that ocular dominance columns in the lowest neocortical visual area, were largely immutable after the critical period in development. Critical periods also were studied with respect to language; the resulting data suggested that sensory pathways were fixed after the critical period. However, studies determined that environmental changes could alter behaviour and cognition by modifying connections between existing neurons and via neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain, including the cerebellum.

Decades of research have now shown that substantial changes occur in the lowest neocortical processing areas, and that these changes can profoundly alter the pattern of neuronal activation in response to experience. Neuro scientific research indicates that experience can actually change both the brain’s physical structure (anatomy) and functional organisation (physiology). Neuroscientists are currently engaged in a reconciliation of critical period studies demonstrating the immutability of the brain after development with the more recent research showing how the brain can and does, change.