Sabrina Tacconi, founder of the project “Laughter Therapy”

Sabrina Tacconi, founder of the project “Laughter Therapy”

Business Name and what it does

My “business” name is “Laughter Therapy”. (Terapia do Riso)

I started the project in 2006 in Portugal.

Laughter Therapy promotes unconditional Laughter to achieve more health and wellbeing. 

During the session we move from “fake” laughter to real and natural laughter.

It´s not a Therapy by itself but it helps in the process of all therapeutics.

We practice breathing techniques associated with Laughter exercises and Playfulness. 

It seems as if  we are laughing for “no reason” at all, but that´s the point, because our mind and our body don’t distinguish the “fake laughter” from the “real laughter” and get all the benefits associated with the practice, like for example the release of our “happy chemicals” (serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin etc…),  which in turn decreases cortisol. It strengthens the body’s immune, respiratory and cardiovascular systems…even if the laughter is faked. You will feel so much better after every daily practice. You will recover your sense of humor and you will find life accordingly funny again.

You will also deal with daily challenges in a healthier way, learning to laugh about the things that bore or disproportionate upset you. 

You don´t need a reason to laugh. You can laugh every time you want. The only person that allows you to laugh is yourself. If you break your barriers with yourself you will find your natural laughter again. Everyone has an individual process. Sometimes we laugh more, sometimes we just fake it. It doesn´t matter. The important thing here is that you are laughing. And when we laugh we “program” ourselves to feel happy and in a few days of practice you really start to feel happy. The brain just follows and believes .

Laughing is a natural function or process and is really healthy for our mind and body, and even for expressing all kinds of emotions in a healthy way

The practice consists of simply Laughing for 10 minutes ( even if merely “mechanically “), and the body and mind will follow as I mentioned before. You will rediscover your truly natural, balanced laughter, but you have to practice every day for the full and lasting benefits, and in order to recover your true laughter.

We laugh with others and not about or at others. In our laughter clubs we laugh in a group, and we can also have individual laughter coaching online or in person. 

When you laugh about a subject that bores you, you decide to solve it in a healthy way and as you are laughing about it, your body and mind think its already solved, and so you change your perspective and your point of view.

In psychology when the patient starts to laugh about his problem it means that he is starting to resolve it “inside”. It´s a clue to know that he is feeling so much better.

My mission is to spread the benefits of laughter and the objective of the project is to help others with laughter as laughter has helped me. I hope to be an inspiration with my personal  “laughter history”,  which you will know of now in my biography ☺  

Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business:

My name is Sabrina Tacconi, founder of the project “Laughter Therapy” in Portugal in 2006. I´m a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer, trained directly by Dr. Madan Kataria. I was also trained by Ph.D. Annette Goodheart as a Laughter Coach.

In 2001 I worked as an antique restorer and I went through a very deep depression . I wasn’t happy with my life at all and with some other situations at the time. I spent 3 weeks hospitalized and slowly started recovering my mental and physical health, as well as my life, after that episode ☺

Laughter Therapy “arrived” in my life in 2005 and i start to work on it in 2006, making me the pioneer of it  in Lisbon, and one of the pioneers in the country. 

I started my “Laughter career” with the Laughter yoga leader training in Portugal and I started to do lots of volunteer work so I could practice,  and to bring laughter for free to others who may need it. When I finally felt prepared, I started a Laughter Yoga club , the first one in Lisbon and the most common in Portugal. Dr. Kataria certified me as a Laughter Yoga Ambassador, which motivated me a lot. 

My health had gotten so much better, I didn´t even have a relapse, which was rare in those cases, and that motivated me to continue my life helping others.

As I love my work of bringing laughter and health to others,  I was feeling healthier than ever. In 2007 I became a Laughter Yoga teacher, so from that moment on I was qualified and certified to train Laughter Yoga leaders. I´ve already trained 800 laughter yoga leaders in Portugal, Spain and even online. You can book your Laughter Leader training online in Portuguese, English or Spanish, by contacting me at  [email protected]     😉

I think it was in 2007 where my career in Laughter Therapy really started. As I´ve already told you,  I had been trained by Dr. Madan Kataria in Switzerland.

Back then I could not live off “laughing” because the Market still wasn´t fully established or  prepared,  so i had to hold two jobs for 10 years as a source of income. 

Since I was not 20 anymore ☺, I had to decide about my professional life, and finally in 2018 I started doing Laughter Therapy full time . I wrote my first book(in Portuguese), “Laughter in my life” (O Riso na Minha Vida),  when I became a Master Trainer in 2019, as I’ve previously mentioned.

Becoming a Master Trainer was an honor for me, and being able to train Laughter yoga Teachers, a dream come true. Twice per year we have a retreat in Palmela to train Teachers that can train Leaders around the world, backed by Laughter Yoga University in India.

You can see all the information about our Laughter Yoga Teacher Training     Retreat here; https://www.bookyogaretreats.com/sabrina-tacconi/6-day-laughter-yoga-teacher-training-in-palmela

Next retreatment will be from 16th to 21th Febrary 2023 in Palmela – Portugal

I also authored another book in Portuguese on Meditation and Visualization,  “33 Guided Meditations with Creative Visualization”, first edition in 2020

(33 Meditações Guiadas com Visualização Criativa – Publisher: Edições Mahatma). 

In 2016 I founded Congresso Rir é Saúde ( Laughter Congress Portugal, “Laughter is Health” ), making 2022 it’s 5th edition.

6th Edition 6th and 7th May 2023 in Lisbon

Congresso Rir é Saúde 

(http://riresaude.pt). The objective is to join speakers to talk about all the benefits associated with Laughter Therapy, and have practical, hands-on  workshops to energize the groups. We can even organize a specific congress for companies.  

I founded “Pink Week Corporate Events” in 2018, a project to take wellness methods to companies like Yoga, Mindfulness, Chi-Kung, Laughter Sessions, etc…

For more information in Portuguese at : 

http://terapiadoriso.pt/index.php/cursos-riso-lisboa/pink-week-team-building-portugal

I’ve appeared quite a few times in various Portuguese media platforms  (TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, etc…),discussing Laughter Therapy, and doing some exercises to show viewers examples they can do at home or even at work. That helps a lot to spread the methods while establishing in all the professionals, credibility and confidence in our work. 

More available Services:

  • Certified L. Y. Teacher Trainings
  • Certified L.Y. Leader Trainings
  • Happy Talks, 
  • Regular Corporate Wellness Programs
  • Regular Stress Relief programs, 
  • Regular School Programs, 
  • Regular College Programs, 
  • Public Awareness Seminars, 
  • Laughter Retreats, 
  • One on One Coaching, 
  • Laughter & Health Programs for Seniors/Hospitals/Clinics/Support Groups, 
  • Seminars, Events and Congress Production and Direction

The challenges the business/market is facing

The pandemic was a very big challenge for two years because we work with groups at locations, which was greatly hindered.

Now the challenge is to recover a place in the “market”. War, Inflation, etc…

The market is growing so quickly that competition can become another challenge.

The opportunities the business/market is facing

The development of online business during the past 2 years was amazing. The most wonderful thing is that online you can connect and laugh with people from anywhere around the world. 

At this moment in time people really need to express emotions. Laughter is a powerful emotion so we are in a moment 8n time where that lots of people are searching for healthy ways to recover their inner balance, and laughter yoga can give us this with 10 minutes of daily practice.

After 16 years of working in laughter therapy we have gained credibility, and so this is very good in order for it to expand, and to learn from one another. It´s not about competing in our laughter, its about inspiring others ☺.

As in this moment we are living with so much pressure it´s very important to take care of our health, in general, so more people are searching for our services because we can help them to feel so much better.

Advice to others about business

Practice Laughter every time you can. 

Spread joy and happiness. 

Became a professional if you want to. 

Prepare your Laughter sessions. 

Organize your “backstage” and learn to delegate when necessary. Delegating is very important if we want to grow in our business. It´s very positive to trust in other people’s work to help you.

Create a good business structure, a website is fundamental. 

Other social media like Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook are now essential to develop our business.

Win credibility. 

Keep yourself healthy so you can inspire others.

Invest in your training and skills. 

Inspire others and allow others to inspire you. 

Be creative and innovative. 

Have fun when you are working and when you are preparing your backstage. 

Social media accounts are very important too; keep them up to date,  and create good and interesting content to gather followers that can support your work. 

Be sociable and available. 

Create good experiences. 

Be professional.

You can also find lots of information in English at http://laughteryoga.org and in Portuguese at http://terapiadoriso.pt | http://risoterapia.pt | http://universidadedoriso.com

Thank you for your attention and see you soon to laugh together ☹

Love, live and laugh ☺

Sabrina Tacconi 

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.