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Volume 30 Issue 2
July/August 2024

The Medicine of Laughter: Laughing For the Health of It!

Navigating the Challenges Facing Natural Health Products in Canada


Melva ArmstrongEditorial
Volume 30 Issue 2— July/August 2024
by Melva Armstrong

Welcome to the summer issue! Once again, it’s been a great pleasure to work with everyone who has been part of it. I love the fact that I get to share with so many wonderful, kind, and generous people, who care about and support WHOLifE! For all of you, I am truly grateful!

It’s been another fun issue to put together, along with Cheryl McDougall and her amazing design expertise, who makes each issue look so stunningly and beautifully attractive. Thank you Cheryl for all the terrific work you do.

The natural health industry has been going through some changes and challenges recently in Canada, as many of you may well know. Last issue we published Veronica Jean’s article, Join the Campaign to Protect Canada’s Natural Health Products (NHPs), which provided the details of their campaign. It encouraged folks who care about NHPs to sign a petition and send regular and electronic letters to Members of Parliament (MPs), urging them to support Bill C-368, which was repealing some unreasonable penalties in Health Canada’s Bill C-47.

Since the May/June24 issue was printed, Bill C-368 passed second reading on May 29, 2024. According to Veronica Jean’s article in this issue, Navigating the Challenges Facing Natural Health Products in Canada (p. 30), this is a massive win! All thanks to the action and engagement of Canadian citizens. However, Veronica says, the struggle to protect NHPs is not over. Health Canada has now introduced new changes to our Food and Drugs Act through Bill C-69, Canada’s 2024 Budget Bill. According to her article, it could significantly restrict the autonomy of healthcare practitioners and limit public access to NHPs. At this point, if you care about these matters, go to page 30 and read the details of the current situation with natural health products. If it’s of interest to you, you can get involved with the campaigns organized by the Natural Health Product Protection Association (NHPPA) to protect access to natural health products and overall health freedoms. Veronica Jean is the National Campaign Director for NHPPA. The article provides a variety of resources to learn more.

Switching gears now to introduce you to Logan LeBlanc’s cheery and delightful article called, The Medicine of Laughter: Laughing For the Health of It! (p.22). Logan, who is a long-time laughter yoga instructor, says, “When we laugh as an exercise, we stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system and flood our body with happy brain chemicals, like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, while eliminating stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. There is nothing that compares to laughter in how it opens the floodgates for these chemicals to flow through your body. It’s not about comedy. It’s all about chemistry.” It’s like a perfectly natural medicine.

I participated in some laughter yoga exercises 12 years ago and totally loved it. It is lots of fun and healthy to join with others, of all ages, in laughing together. Watching and hearing others laugh makes me laugh. I am grateful to have recently been introduced to Logan and to discover that he is very passionate to help humanity heal through laughter, breath, and childlike playfulness. He believes that the time for more laughter medicine is now. And I agree! Let us each do more “laughing for the health of it!”

This summer is the perfect season to be spending lots of time outdoors, enjoying Mother Nature. With all the luscious new growth of wild plants and shrubs, I’ve always thought it would be good to have a herbal plant expert to guide me through the maze of green leaves, and introduce me to the names and properties of each of them. Happily, we are in luck in this issue because Sussanna Czeranko, from Manitou Beach, has written about Prairie Herbal Walks: Discovering the Ethnobotany of Saskatchewan (p. 10). As a wild crafter and lover of herbal plants, she says the prairie terrain offers many jewels, and there are herbal remedies absolutely everywhere for those who take the time to explore. In her article, she has details of various guided herb walks she is offering.

Once again, I remind you that there are many more gems in these pages, to delight your senses and stimulate your interests. A lot of research and expertise, on the part of the writers, has gone into creating their articles, and they are sharing their vast knowledge in the form of gifts for you to enjoy. I wish everyone a beautiful July and August. It’s the season for exploring the great outdoors and soaking up some sunshine, walking, relaxing, travelling, visiting, laughing, hiking, swimming, canoeing, playing, hugging trees, and much more!

I love you and I will see you in September.

(The spirit in me honours the spirit in you)

Melva's signature


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