Immediate Release

PRESS RELEASE                   October 14, 2012

Experiencing Greater Laughter While Squeezing Your Left Hand.

A mind/body doorway has been opened by German researchers who discovered that squeezing your left hand (making a fist) activates the right side of the brain which governs rote movements and dampens the activity of the brain’s left hemisphere, which tends to initiate over thinking.  

A researcher at the Somerville Laughter Club, ( Walter Ness, tested the squeezing of the left hand information with laughter because laughter is a physical exercise.   By squeezing his left hand (making a fist) and paying attention to the squeezed muscles his laughter became more robust.   By squeezing his right hand and paying attention to the squeezed muscles, which dampens the right side of the brain, his laughter became more muted.  

He took his discovery and presented it to an audience at a Mystical Art and Talent Show, October 13, 2012 which was held at the Swedenborgian Church in Cambridge, MA.   He had people laughing while squeezing their left hand and laughing while squeezing their right hand.   He explained to the audience that this discovery finally explained why some people who showed up at the Somerville Laughter Club had extremely muted laughter, as if they could not get enough air out of their lungs.   It seems that activating the brain’s left hemisphere deactivates the right side of the brain, which creates easy flowing laughter and movement of air out of the lungs.

Said Walter Ness, “I wanted to see what would happen if this information was presented to a large audience.   There was a lot of laughing, squeezing of hands, the audience loved it.”

A few weeks later I made another discovery using the left fist and a smile. By lowering my eyes so I could be aware of my face, I thought the word “happy” and smiled. I felt the happy sensations show up in my cheeks and lower part of my jaw. I squeezed my left hand, creating a fist, and the happy sensations faded to be replaced by sensations of determination. The area just below my cheekbones started radiating this determined sensation. This just amazed me. I have since gotten other people to reduplicate this same phenomenon.

Somerville is famous for new discovery being made in the area.   At the Neuroplasticity Club which was created in Somerville another great discovery was made by the same researcher Walter Ness.

Comfort Sensations in Your Body

Walter Ness who explores how the brain works in the Neuroplasticity Club, (    In his study of already created neuropathways in the brain, which he refers to as mini intelligences, he made an amazing discovery.    By placing his index finger below his lower lip and above the chin the brain turns on sensations in the whole body creating a feeling of comfort.  

He presented his discovery to his friends and members of Unity Somerville, which he is a member of.   In each instance people were able to feel comfort in their whole body when the skin of the index finger touched the skin area below their lips.   When people moved their finger away from the area of their face the sensation of comfort in their body started to disappear.   Moving the index finger back and making contact with the face tuned on the comfort sensations in the body again.   He reminded people not to place any other finger on the area of their face except the index finger.

While Walter Ness has presented his discovery to people he personally knew it was the publication of the German researchers showed that this type of findings can now be published.   Walter said, “The squeezing of one hand causing the activation on of one side of the brain is a mind/body example how physical activity of one body part can have an effect on different parts of the brain.   I’ve learned that placement of your hand or fingers on your face can also activate brain areas and the placement of the index finger below your lip is a great example.”

Since he was going to present how laughter changes depending on which hand you squeeze at the Mystical Art and Talent Show, he decided to include the instructions of how placing the index finger below the lip creates sensations of comfort within the body.   “The audience loved this part also.   At the end I had the audience raise their hands if they were able to reduplicate my findings.   I also had them applaud if they had the experience of body comfort.   So far, this has been a tremendous success when presented to individuals or groups.”

Walter intends to include both examples in Energy Theater performance (   Walter said, “I like to take my laughter and neuroplasticity discoveries and put them on stage.   I can’t explain the feeling you get when you have most people in your audience respond to the laughter and heightened sense of awareness created by our skits.

Walter Ness




* The study was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published by the American Psychological Association.

* Lead researcher Juergen Beckmann, PhD, chair of sport psychology at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

How does placing of the index finger underneath the lips activate a neuropathway that creates comfort sensations in the body?

Just like the making of a fist, the placing of the index finger on an area of your face has been done for thousands of years. What makes this a discovery is the idea that one must know what to look for when a neuropathway is activated and an attitude that says, “Hey this is important.”

It seems that our brain is loaded with neuropathways that create various positive moods all we need is the understanding of how to activate them.

  1. The placement of hands or fingers is not random. It is done by the subconscious to activate a body mood response.
  2. Your subconscious knows the area of your face that must be stimulated to create a mood.
  3. The lowering of the eyes tells the brain to be aware of sensations in your own body.
  4. Eyes looking forward turns off awareness of sensations in your body.
  5. Knowing what sensations to look for in your body allows awareness of that type of activity.
  6. The feeling of comfort being generated by your body feeds your awareness with a positive sensation.
  7. If what you are aware of defines who you are, this is a step toward redefinition of your own value of yourself.