As the saying goes, laughter is the best form of medicine.

Children laugh between 300 and 400 times a day compared to adults who manage a meagre maximum of 15 chuckles in 24-hours.

Laughter experts Akasha Lonsdale and John Gloster-Smith aim to change that.

The couple from Mile Elm in Calne are teaching adults how to make a new year resolution to live life laughing.

In laughter workshops held at Santosha Studio in Eastern Avenue, Chippenham there will be no jokes, no funny stories just natural spontaneous laughter.

"It's hard to explain," said Mrs Lonsdale, a London born psychotherapist.

"We teach groups to fake it until they make it, laughter is infectious so even if you are forcing it you will find that eventually you don't have to."

Scientific research has shown that laughter can improve self-esteem, health, relationships and communication.

The 54-year-old said: "I had a letter from a man who had been to one of the laughter sessions and he said that night he had the best night's sleep he had ever experienced.

"Just laughing relieves stress and anxiety and helps you become relaxed and comfortable in stressful environments."

For Mrs Lonsdale it is also a secret for breaking the ice at business meetings or formal receptions.

She said: "When I meet someone for the first time I say Hi, I'm Akasha' and then I laugh like a maniac.

"Not only does it boost confidence in a formal situation but it forces the other person to giggle too.

"At the end of the day people who laugh together, work well together and this is obviously a positive thing for any office or workforce."

Mrs Lonsdale and Mr Gloster-Smith, who is a leadership consultant and executive coach, have held laughter events for support groups for people suffering from cancer and depression and other illness.

Mrs Lonsdale said: "It is a form of therapy and isn't uncomfortable or complicated.

"We have held sessions in doctors' surgeries and patients have said they feel more relaxed and light as if a weight has been lifted."

Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and boosts the immune system by increasing infection-fighting cells.

It also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being meaning laughter therapy is an active way to combat depression.

For those who hate the idea of a trip to the gym, having a two-minute belly laugh is the equivalent of ten minutes of rigorous rowing.

"It's like internal jogging," said Mrs Lonsdale. "And it is all about breathing. Laughing stretches your diaphragm and you use your whole body for a belly laugh so you really are exercising."

The pair will be holding laughter workshops at their Eastern Avenue studio on January 16 and 30 from 7.30pm to 8.45pm.

They do not charge for the classes but donations are welcome. Mrs Lonsdale added: "We have seen a lot of people benefit from the sessions and you can't put a price on that.

"We normally get donations of around £8 but people shouldn't miss out because they only have £2."

For more information on other laughter events visit