Effects of eight weeks laughter yoga training on motor function, balance, and flexibility in subjects with Parkinson's disease

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MSc Student, Department of Corrective Exercises and Sports Injuries, School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Corrective Exercises and Sports Injuries, School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran



Introduction: Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common disorders of the central nervous system. Laughter Yoga (LY) combines the complementary therapies, stretching, and breathing techniques. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of LY training on motor function, balance and flexibility in subjects with Parkinson's disease. Materials and Methods: Twenty four female participants with PD (stages 3-1 based on Hoehn and Yahr scale) voluntarily were recruited in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (mean age ± SD; 52.6 ± 6.8 years, weight ± SD; 61.1 ± 7.8 kg, height ± SD; 157.8± 4.3 cm) and control (mean age ± SD; 55.5 ± 6.7 years, weight ± SD; 67 ± 6.8 kg, height ± SD; 158.4± 5.5 cm). In addition to pharmacotherapy, the experimental group received 8 weeks LY (3 sessions per week, each session; 45 minutes), while the control group didn’t follow any effective physical activity. The patient’s motor function (Part 3 questionnaires UPDRS), balance (Berg) and flexibility (sit and reach test) were evaluated at the beginning and the end of 8-week. All data were analyzed by SPSS, version16. Results: The results of this study showed a significant improvement (P < 0.05) in motor function after eight weeks LY in experimental group (12.9 vs 12.6), as motor function improved about 2%. A significant reduction (P < 0.05, 14.3 vs 14.7) was observed in the control group. Although balance increased in the experimental group but the differences was not prominent (P > 0.05). An upward significant was observed in flexibility (P < 0.05) in the experimental group (11.1 vs 13.3), but it decreased in control group (P < 0.05, 13 vs 12.5). In all variables, significant differences were found between two groups. Conclusion: It can be concluded that LY has a positive effect on motor functional and flexibility in individuals with PD; therefore it should be suggested to organize some LY sessions for these subjects each week to improve their balance, motor function, and finally activity daily living. Keywords: Parkinson's disease, Laughter Yoga, Berg scale, Sit and reach