The Science of Laughter: Guess what? It’s hilarious!

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Laughter Quote

Watch this TED talk if you want a laugh. But watch it also to learn why we laugh less as we age.

Do we really become GRUMPY OLD men and women? Or is something else happening. In this funny talk (Watch especially for the You Tube Clip at the end), Sophie Scott, who is both a neuroscientist and a standup comedian, explains that we do not learn to distinguish spontaneous laughter from fake laughter until we hit our late thirties or even our early forties. But as we age we become more and more immune to contagious laughter.

WE need the social context. Don’t sit in front of the tellie. You are immune to canned laughter. Get out the door and socialise … that’s where you will pigsnort-laugh yourself silly.

Remember, laughter is therapeutic.

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And you will find some funny Sibylesque posts here and here.

Please Squeeze: Why Pelvic Floor Exercises Count at your age!

by Annie James

Sibylesque Pelvic Floor Joke quote

A bit of essential leg-crossing when there’s no loo nearby? Not too keen on star jumps or sneezing bouts? The resorting to panty-liners to blot the odd leak? These are all signs that your pelvic floor muscles would like some attention, some action.

With age and especially following a vaginal delivery, the cradle of muscles around urethra (urine outlet) become less effective in contracting well and exercises may be all that’s required to make them effective again. The results can be seen quickly and the problem resolved. If you don’t know whether you’re using the correct muscles you can try stopping your urine flow mid-stream. This is not recommended as an exercise but will give you the correct sensation of ‘drawing up’ your pelvic floor and you’ll then be able to do it whenever you want.

Sibylesque  Pelvic Floor Joke

Ideally do it at least 6 times, 2-3 times a day, and try and vary length of hold, and how high you feel you’re lifting. It shouldn’t be obvious to anyone that you’re doing the exercises so make sure you breath normally! I know it seems a lot of exercise for one lot of muscles but if you do them say, once at traffic lights, once lying in bed and once when cleaning teeth or waiting for a coffee, it’s a breeze.

Please note, if you don’t have an idea of how to do the exercise or the problems continue, do see your GP or a specialist Physiotherapist for advice and other treatment.

Believe me, you’ll enjoy a much happier older age if you keep these muscles active; improves enjoyment of sex too!

You will find everything you could ever want to know about incontinence and more if you download this brochure from the Continence Foundation of Australia.

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Babylonian Sibyl

Babylonian Sibyl

Annie James is an adventurous spirit, who is passionate about women’s health. She has worked as a physiotherapist and also hikes and plays tennis.

Photo source: Social History Archives

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Help! I’m turning into Miss Havisham!

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Dust Quote

Ghosts of Things Past!

The piano belonged to my mother, Kath Meehan. When my daughter asked this question almost 20 years ago, I laughed. The piano was indeed dusty. My mother had a ‘minimalist’ attitude to housework. I had the good fortune to have a childhood blessed by a mother who spent far more time playing the piano (She played in a local dance band for 25 years), than dusting it. If she wasn’t playing the piano, she was bush walking, bird watching, silk screen painting, or playing music for the disabled.

Miss Favisham   Carminesuperiore

When my mother died not long after my daughter’s dusty piano observations, we five – very different – kids wanted some scrap of a eulogy put on her tombstone. We unanimously agreed on ‘A life of music and laughter’.

Of late, however, dust has been invading my house. No more or less than usual, I guess, but it accumulates because I don’t notice it. I need my reading glasses to see the dust. This makes me a little fearful that I am turning into Dicken’s Miss Havisham. Will I discover a decaying wedding cake when I put on my glasses? It almost seems possible.

Nevertheless, whenever I unexpectedly discover the furniture peppered with motes of dust, I laugh because I’m taken back to the world of my childhood.

A time of music and laughter.

Photo source: Carminesuperiore Bolg

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