Thank you for visiting. We are in the process of scheduling our next public Mobile Laughter Club, which is open for the community to attend without any cost or membership. Please continue to check back here for the announcement of that date and location, or use the form at the bottom of this page to be notified by email.
If you would like to schedule a Laughter Club program for your group, audience, or organization, please scroll down to submit that inquirer through the Contact Form at the bottom of this page.
A Laughter Club is a simple gathering of individuals who are led by a Certified Laughter Leader in learning and applying therapeutic laughter exercises for the purpose of stress management and healing assistance for one’s well-being.
Certified Laughter Leader
My name is Steve Durkac, the Certified Laughter Leader for the Mobile Laughter Club in Mobile, Alabama.
It was while working as a hospital chaplain at Providence Hospital during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that I took notice that patients who suddenly found something to laugh about also seemed to turn the corner in their healing process.
That experience led me to an extensive study in the medical benefits of humor and laughter, even becoming a Therapeutic Laughter Leader through the World Laughter Tour training programs.
Today, I serve as the pastor of CrossHope Chapel in West Mobile, Alabama and am a frequent beach wedding officiant, but I really look forward to helping others find stress relief and healing assistance through therapeutic laughter exercises.
He He He, Ha Ha Ha, Ho Ho Ho
One day while working with Hurricane Katrina victims, as a hospital chaplain, I was struck by the quick turn-around one patient took, when he suddenly found something to laugh about.
On a follow-up visit, he began to tell me about how he was thinking about something a comedian once talked about. As I was listening to him tell the story, I wanted to jump in and finish for him – because was reciting an old George Carlin comedy bit, called “Stuff.” The bit was one of my favorites!
He shared how he realized that all he lost, was just stuff. He said he got to thinking that he really is thankful that none of loved-ones were lost. I was simple nodding my head, trying not to interrupt. Then he started to recite the comedy bit again, and this time he stopped and said, “Rev, you’re smiling…You don’t know who George Carlin is do you?”
I said, “George Carlin? Of course I do. Before I was ‘Rev’ is was ‘Irev’ – I grew-up in the 70′s near Toledo, Ohio – I know George Carlin.”
He then said, “Well, then you would remember the bit he did on ‘Stuff.’ We both rushed to recount that comedy bit and laughed in his hospital room as we took turns reciting the lines to that comedy bit!
I was amazed by the emotional and physical healing that took place for him after that unscheduled session of comedy, humor, and laughter.
That encounter set me off on a serious two year study of the dynamics of humor and laughter and its place in our emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.
In that process, I became a Certified Laughter Leader and discovered medical research and therapeutic practices of laughter that goes beyond entertainment.
I have since taken my message of laughter and humor to local and national media outlets, written the book “Merry Medicine for the Soul,” and am always happy to speak to any audience that wants to laugh more, stress less! As you scroll down you’ll find some video clips and testimonials, too.
Programs & Presentations
I am a frequent speaker to audiences, employees, and caregivers on the topic of therapeutic laughter for the purpose of stress management, well-being, and attitudinal encouragement for physical healing.
Voluntary audience participation in “Laughter Therapy” helps your group learn to stress less and laugh more, and fits with a group program that is built around specific exercises.
Laughter therapy presentations are more conducive to “edu-tainment” because although the audience is is there to roll in laughter, they are actually getting useful wellness information.
You can read some audience reviews here.
I do speak to groups on this topic of laughter as medicine for the stressed life, and as you may expect I do throw in plenty of humor, too. My presentation on Therapeutic Laughter is a good one if you need a 20-30 minute talk for your gathering of:
- Civic Groups
- Church Groups
- Wellness Events
- Cancer Support Groups
- Workplace Stress Management
In my presentations I like to share one of my favorite findings by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University, who released the results of a twenty year study that found first time heart attack victims who were prescribed a similar diet and drug regiment, with the exception that half of the group added a daily 20 to 30 minute period of laughter.
Half were told to watch a funny sitcom on television, a comedy, or to spend the time reading a humorous joke book, as long as the 30 minute period was focused on humor and being able to laugh.
Of the group who were prescribed laughter, only 8% suffered a second heart attack. While the group who were not prescribed daily laughter had a 42% recurrence rate of a second heart attack!
On a CNN medical report television program, Dr. Lee Berk said it best when he commented that had he invented a pill that got these remarkable results, he would be on his way to Stockholm, Sweden for the Noble Peace Prize in Medicine.
While laughter offers no guarantees as the ultimate cure-all, we do know that the medical and psychological benefits of laughter have been cited in the top medical research journals. Here is my top 10 list of such benefits that have been mentioned in these journals:
1. Reducing cortisol, a stress hormone that locks up metabolism and hordes fat. (American Journal of the Medical Sciences)
2. Increases endorphins, the body’s opiate feel-good hormone. (American Journal of the Medical Sciences)
3. Eases muscle tension, good for rheumatism. (Southern Medical Journal)
4. Increases the body’s T-Cell count, immune system cells that kill bacteria. (Journal of
5. Increases the body’s Lymphocyte Blastogenesis, helps the immune system work faster. (Journal of the American Medical Association)
6. Improves respiratory conditions, aids in ventilation and helps clear mucus plugs.
(Journal of the American Medical Association)
7. Increases blood circulation and rise in oxygen and nutrient levels. (Journal of Biological Psychology)
8. Improves blood vessel functions and circulation. (University of Maryland)
9. Increases catecholamines, which boost mental alertness and responsiveness. (Journal of the American Medical Association)
10. Reduces the rate of cellular decay. (Journal of the American Medical Association)
Please use this form to contact me regarding notification of the Mobile Laughter Club schedule or to request information about speaking to your group or to simply ask a question. I will respond by email within a few hours. Thanks!