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Reading Activities: B2

Instructions: Read the text for a general idea and answer the activities on the following page.

1 Whenever you see a group of people rolling about with 6 When Dr Kataria first developed the concept of Laughter
laughter, you want to know one thing: what's the joke? If Yoga, he tried using jokes. Not everyone, however, laughs at
Julie Whitehead is responsible for it, the answer is that the same gags, so instead the club used simulated laughter
there simply is no joke, (1) .............. Whitehead is at the exercises. They have the same physical benefits for
forefront of moves to make laughter an integral part of the breathing and circulation. There is also a psychological side,
National Health Service in Britain. as Whitehead explains: 'We encourage childlike openness.
(5) .............. It builds confidence and helps you look people
2 Whitehead's movement, Laughter Yoga, was started in in the eye,' she claims.
Mumbai by a man called Dr Kataria, and has spread to
groups around Europe. Several groups and charities, 7 Meanwhile, 'clown doctors' are being introduced into
involving comedians, coaches and clowns, are working with British hospitals to make sick children laugh themselves
health service doctors who realize that joy and happiness back to health. (6) .............. I toured the hospital with them
have a serious role in the treatment of patients. in the early days, and was amazed at their warmth and
depth of emotional generosity. It takes a lot to bring joy to a
3 Professor Duncan Geddes, a consultant in chest medicine building filled with sick children. The project has proved a
at the Royal Brompton Hospital, says: 'Laughter is an lasting success and now a team of nine clowns works in a
important medicine. It is an expression of happiness, and growing number of hospitals, entertaining about 27,000
happiness is good for all of us in three main ways. (2) children and their families every year.
.............. Laughter therapy is developing fast and new
research is looking into the ways that laughter happens, 8 But it's not all 'hee-hee, ha-ha' for pioneers of healthy
how it stimulates the brain and how it makes us all healthier humour. When Roland Schutzbach and his partner, Christine
and happier.' Fleur de Lys, both from Switzerland, tried to cheer up the
Scottish town of Aberdeen, the locals failed to see the gag.
4 Whitehead says, ‘Laughter has wonderful health benefits Last month, the pair took to the streets dressed in bright
and, unlike most drugs, there are no side-effects. It’s also red-and-orange wigs, enormous spectacles, huge ties and
free. (3) ..............’ She adds: ‘New research at Indiana State angel wings at the start of a three-year mission to look for
University compared groups of people who watched either the 'laughter cities' of Europe. (7) .............. 'Aberdeen is a
comedy films or a boring tourist film, and found the group difficult case,' Schutzbach admits. 'People did not laugh with
who laughed had their immune system boosted by 40 per us. They did not even look at us.'
cent.’

5 Whitehead's laughter sessions last around an hour and a


quarter. We start by clapping hands, and saying 'ho, ho ho,
ha, ha ha', while maintaining eye contact with each other.
(4) .............. Other exercises involve laughing higher and
higher. This can all feel excruciatingly embarrassing, but the
idea is that soon it should turn into real laughter.

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Reading Activities: B2

Part 1: Read the text carefully, then choose from the sentences A-H the one which fits each gap (1-7). There is
one extra sentence that you do not need to use.

A That's why it doesn't make the drug companies very happy!


B Instead, it's part of a deadly serious form of medical treatment.
C The first two were introduced to a children's hospital in London almost ten years ago.
D Next we do the lion laugh, a yogic practice that involves sticking out your tongue.
E For this reason, most people are reluctant to laugh freely when they are surrounded by strangers.
F But the couple found that their style of humour failed to amuse the Scots.
G In order to achieve this, we play silly games and sing nursery rhymes, breaking down inhibitions.
H It stimulates the body's defences, reduces pain and helps recovery from illness.

Part 2: Now, find words in the article that mean the same as the definitions below. The paragraph numbers are
in brackets.

1. Extended (paragraph 2)
2. Undesirable secondary effect (paragraph 4)
3. Increased (paragraph 4)
4. Applauding (paragraph 5)
5. Jokes (paragraph 6)
6. Surprised (paragraph 7)
7. Creators (paragraph 8)
8. Cause a person to feel happy (paragraph 8)

Part 3: Tick T for “True” or F for “False” in the following statements and be ready to explain your answers.

T F
1. The movement of Laughter Yoga was first started by Julie Whitehead.
2. Watching comedy films can help your immune system improve.
3. During a laughter session, you’re supposed to close your eyes.
4. It’s becoming more and more common to find clown doctors in hospitals.
5. The use of this technique has worked very well in all European countries.

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