Laughter for Health was started by Jo Bluett
– Laughter Ambassador, Laughter Consultant
& Laughter Yoga Teacher.
Imagine waking up one morning and everything you used to be able to do has changed. You have no energy, you know what it feels like to feel old before your time. Worse than all that you no longer recognise yourself.
Jo Bluett is an ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) survivor and for anyone under the misconception that these conditions are only about being tired she has 21 years of experience that tells you they are not. She went from being a high flying business development consultant for a large multi-national to someone on benefits, isolated in her own home and unable to make sense of what the doctors and therapists were telling her. ME/FMS took over her life and 18 years ago it almost destroyed her. But then one day everything changed.
Jo took matters into her own hands and decided to laugh about it.
Attending a Laughter Workshop was the medicine she needed and now she helps others to have a right good giggle and get on the path to health and well being through happiness and positivity.
After setting up the Edinburgh Laughter Club in 2010, she started her business “Laughter For Health” in June 2012 and through therapeutic laughter and Laughter Yoga she’s seen it grow into a phenomenon. People suffering from long-term ill health, stress, depression and social isolation are benefiting from having a right good chortle!
Jo says “Therapeutic laughter changed my life… I was at my wits end until the day I walked into that Laughter Workshop and saw that happiness and laughing can rescue people. I saw instant results and firmly believe that if it worked for someone as poorly as I was it can work for anyone. A positive outlook and a happy state of mind can help a person feel better and I’m living proof. Laughter helps me to stay positive, cope with pain and makes me feel happy. My passion is sharing fun, laughter and holistic health in order to help others manage stress and cope with life’s challenges. I want people to embrace their gigglelicious side as I have.”
Her workshops are a huge success with corporate and not-for profit clients as well as members of the public. She’s a member of the Laughter Network, Laughter Yoga International and the Laughter Yoga University. Jo spoke at the UK National Laughter Conferences in Manchester and London (2013 and 2015 respectively) and she has also spoken at the Edinburgh International Science Festival as well as a number of medical and cancer conferences. Jo’s work is now expanding outside of Scotland where she’s based and she has out-sourced some of her English contracts supporting other therapists and small businesses within the UK. She is a Laughter Yoga Teacher – training and inspiring others to become Laughter Yoga Leaders and start their own laughter clubs.
Jo is the first Laughter professional in the UK to receive funding from the NHS towards her Laughter Club which sponsors the Carers’ Laughter Club Project offering FREE places to carers in Edinburgh and evaluating the impact that attending a regular laughter has on their wellbeing – the results are VERY impressive! The project has now been running for six years and has just secured funding to continue for a seventh year. Jo will present a report to the Scottish Government later in 2020.
Jo’s future plans include securing funding from the Scottish Government to fund training for hundreds of people to enable laughter being delivered in GP Surgeries, in NHS Scotland (within hospitals, community health partnerships and NHS services) and also within charities, health groups and community projects to provide regular and ongoing laughter to bring long-lasting, cost-effective benefits to the health and happiness of the Scottish population. Jo is committed to making a profound and lasting positive difference in her community and in Scotland.
Jo will also be running a research pilot taking laughter in a women’s prison – this will be the first project of its kind in the UK – hugely exciting!
Jo was awarded the prestigious title of “Laughter Ambassador” (the first in Scotland!) in June 2016 by the founder of the Laughter Yoga International University and the global laughter movement Dr Madan Kataria. This award was in recognition for her voluntary and community work with Edinburgh Laughter Club and of her commitment to make a difference through the Carer’s Laughter Club Project and with her fundraising achievements – Edinburgh Laughter Club has exceeded £25,000 raised for local charities in Edinburgh as of February 2020.
In November 2017, her laughter club was featured on the Mental Health Special of BBC2’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor (see the trailer here). It was a huge honour for Edinburgh Laughter Club to be featured on such a pretiguous and well respected programme and one of Jo’s proudest laughter experiences!
As a result of her improved health Jo not only runs Laughter for Health but has also trained and works as a Health & Wellbeing Coach and as a Bowen Therapist.
She’s a success story for the 21st century using the oldest therapy known to man but in a whole new way. She’s laughing her way to health and taking hundreds with her.
“Laugh more – enjoy life.”
To find out more please get in touch
Jo is also a qualified Health & Wellbeing Coach and a practising Bowen Therapist, qualified and registered with the Bowen Training Academy of Australia (BTAA) and the Bowen Association UK (BAUK). To find out more about The Bowen Technique click here
She is also qualified in Holistic Massage, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage but now devotes all her bodywork practice to the Bowen Technique.
Jo believes that laughter and a holistic approach to health go hand in hand to living a healthier, happier life.