Laughter Yoga Archive


Exercise and MS


Content provided by: Tammy Mahan of Healthline

MS affects the communication between the spinal cord and brain in those with the disorder. Electronic signals are sent down long fibers known as axons found in a protective, insulating substance known as myelin. Myelin is thought to be a threat and attacked by the immune system causing it to become damaged when MS is present. There is an inability of the axons to conduct signals properly when the myelin is lost.

The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis are similar to other problems making a diagnosis difficult to obtain. The diagnostic process has been standardized by the diagnostic criteria that medical organizations have created. It is particularly effective in the first stages of the disease. When someone has had different episodes of neurological symptoms associated with MS such as numbness or tingling, utilizing clinical data alone might not be enough to diagnose the condition. Analyzing the cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging are the most common tools for diagnosis. There is a less attentive response to the optic and sensory nerve stimulation in those with MS because of the demyelination of the pathways.

There are obvious benefits to exercising for healthy individuals; there are also benefits of exercise to those with MS. Benefits include:

●Exercises helps you to manage your weight
●People with more severe MS are aided in maintaining mobility
●Muscles weakness is reduced and mobility maintained thought the toning and strengthening of muscles.
●Some of the symptoms associated with MS can be helped.

MS cannot be cured with a single exercise but it can be used for prevention and to supplement current therapies. The exercise that is chosen depends on the individual. You have to take into account the things that you enjoy and whether you prefer to be alone or with someone when you exercise. Are you going to need help and instruction for an exercise program? These questions will aid you in picking the program of exercise that is right for you and your MS.

●Bowel and bladder problems are aided with pelvic floor exercises
●Depression symptoms improve with aerobics
●Muscle spasms and stiffness are helped by stretching, Thai Chi and Yoga
●Balance is improved through aerobics and walking

Your energy will be renewed as you start to have the natural inner balance restored. MS symptoms such as aches and pains will begin to disappear along with other symptoms associated with the disease. There are several exercises that you can do to assist you with the problems of lack of endurance, ataxia, and weakness in the muscles and loss of coordination and balance so that the problems are effectively aided when you have MS.

It is important that exercises be tailored to the symptoms and begins immediately following the onset in order to get the most benefit from the exercises. Waiting increases the difficulty of overcoming the problem making it vital to start immediately when balance or weakness are the problem. Difficulties can increase when exercises are put off for too long, and the wrong exercises can make the problems worse.

Content provided by: Tammy Mahan of Healthline


Working Out With Multiple Sclerosis


Content provided by: Black Health Matters

Though it might seem like exercising when you have multiple sclerosis (MS) is an oxymoron, even a small amount of physical activity can provide great benefits. In addition to being essential to overall well-being, exercise may even ease symptoms, and it could help you stay mobile longer than if you are inactive. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program because your workouts should be determined by your fitness level. If you don’t have balance problems and you’re able to ride a bike or run, you should. Here are options if you can’t hit the pavement:

Stretching. MS patients tend to lose range in motion in their limbs as muscles freeze. Stretching your arms and legs every day will help keep them moving.

Yoga. Downward facing dog and the lotus position help relax muscles and keep them flexible. Yoga is also good for maintaining balance. Tai chi’s slow, deliberate movements are another excellent choice for building muscle tone and increasing flexibility. Choose classes for people with disabilities.

Water exercises. Swimming and water aerobics are particularly good for MS patients, especially if your disease is causing increased sensitivity to temperature. And some movements that you’re unable to do out of water are possible in water, where your body is weightless.

Stationary bike. Can’t ride in the next BikeMS event? You can make use of a stationary bike. One study showed stationary bike participants reported improvement in their fatigue symptoms.
Resistance bands. Use resistance bands to duplicate exercises normally performed with barbells. Bands can also be used to assist with stretching.

Though multiple sclerosis may mean a change in physical activity and mobility, it doesn’t mean your life has to stall. If you can no longer continue activities you used to enjoy, talk to your doctor about new ways to stay active or about ways to make your old favorite activities more accessible.

Content provided by: Black Health Matters


Fighting Envy


I think one of the facets of multiple sclerosis that has whacked me the hardest is the amount of dependency it thrusts upon me. So now, when I discover outlets that allow me to exercise independence, I am elated!

Last weekend was the first time I have gone to my local park and used my scooter all the way around the jogging track. It was early and cool, so heat and humidity was not a problem. It took my husband and I an hour to finish the entire path, but I felt better for having taken on the challenge of being amongst the healthy in this feeble body of mine. That is obviously the core reason I haven’t been to the park in a long time. Well, that and of course the heat factor. I’ve come to realize there are ways around my limitations if I just show initiative and a little grit.

I was on my scooter but I was still able to convince myself that if I held my stomach in, sat up straight and tried to squeeze my rear end tightly, I was somehow working my core strength. I hope it was an accurate assessment. But nevertheless, I took a huge step in the right direction. I enjoy being outside at the park. I even enjoy being in the company of the walker/runners.

I still may resent them a little bit, but I’m working on that.

We were at the park in the first place for a laughter yoga class, but when I failed to see the group we just kept on going around the track. To be honest I surprised myself. I had no intention of taking on the track in my scooter. Who goes on a track with a scooter? It really sounds pretty silly to me. Unbeknownst to me, my yoga class must have been cancelled because I certainly didn’t see them out there. But I’m glad I didn’t stop looking for a gang of silly people laughing for no reason. Laughter yoga is another little simple pleasure I enjoy, similar to the way we meet here to exchange ideas and best practices.

I can’t help adding that often my husband invites me out to the park to join him for a trip around the track. For some reason he seems to like for me to come along wheelchair or not. But for me, in the past the entire event has left me a bit down. You know because I use to run. I think I told you once I went and saw the group of guys that I used to proudly jog with. It hurt to see them. I was even a bit jealous. I even selfishly told my husband I just couldn’t go anymore. He of course soon stopped going as well. Which made me feel like crap. I had just taken away his bit of respite from caring for me 24 hours a day. You’d think he could just go alone. Except, to make matters worse I shared with him I was kind of scared to be left in the apartment by myself. He can’t win!

But this weekend was different. We both went and I feel like I won a little piece of “us” back.


MS and Laughter Yoga


A reporter and camera crew were in the park to cover a story about laughter yoga. I just happened to be at the class, they saw me, and wanted to know a bit more about me and how laughter yoga is therapy for my MS. I became the featured person in the report.

So here you go!

MS and Laughter Yoga. Nicole Lemelle explains how she uses laughter yoga to deal with MS.

Wasn’t that FABULOUS! I can’t thank the reporter, Nancy Parker of Fox 8, enough!


MS WALK and Laughter Yoga

Can you point to me?

In the midst of a rather ironic dream, I mutter,

“What’s that noise?”

“It keeps getting louder.”

“Oh, It’s the alarm clock.” Irritated, because I haven’t set the alarm clock in over 2 years; against my own will, of course!


I start fumbling now to at least turn it off. Two problems. I didn’t quite remember how to do that and the proficiency of my fine motor skills was questionable.

I’m still scratching the alarm. Tommy awakes and offers a customary cynical response, but he wasn’t complaining about the alarm. He was cracking a joke about my lack of knowing how to turn the alarm off.


I didn’t get it. Why wasn’t he complaining about the alarm?

I took a minute to get my bearings together, and then I remembered! The alarm was set for the National MS Society, Louisiana Chapter MS WALK! Yayy!


I manage to turn the alarm off.

“I got to get up!” (It’s crazy to witness your life priorities totally change.)

We made it to the WALK, parked and started snapping pictures and talking to whomever would engage me. Abruptly, I was full of gratitude and awe. It’s hard to phantom so many people out here walking for loved ones with the same disease I fight daily.


I love this!

I met this one lady walking for her newly diagnosed daughter. She began asking me how I was doing. Moments later, her glance reminded me of my mom’s when I first got diagnosed. She embodied a look of pure concern and heartfelt worry. I just may be full of myself (totally possible), but I think my spirited jovialness comforted her in some way. Besides, for any newly diagnosed person the wheelchair is their worst nightmare. Here I was posing the contrary.



More mingling

After, we left the WALK it was off to Laughter Yoga! Yes Laughter Yoga. It’s been on the local news. It’s great and there is science behind it. I know you remember endorphins and things from school.  There is a focus on breathing, but that’s the only similarity with mainstream yoga. The rest of the time we are just laughing. They say the benefits you get from laughter are the same regardless if it sincere or not. You can learn more at

As a part of my own denial process I insisted on standing as long as I could, but to my chagrin, shortly afterwards I was face down on the cement. Everyone quickly rallied to my side, lifted me up, and I said, “I laughed so hard I fell to my knees.” Then everyone followed suit and let off an honorary round of laughter for me!

LIFE: yoga + boutique (Video) Press this link to get a peep of our class!