The Somerville Laughter Club started just like any other laughter club. It was the realization that the traditional method of "fake it till you make it" did not address the needs of people who have lost their abilities to laugh and a different way to nudge themselves into laughter was needed.

It was an article about Professor Juergen Beckmann, PhD, chair of sport psychology at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, that showed other ways could be used to activate areas of the brain that create laughter.

Prof. Beckman showed that making a left fist activates the right side of the brain increasing physical abilities in sports.

Walter Ness found that if a person who had trouble laughing could make a left fist and laughter would show up without difficulty. The laughter was distinctly different from left to right hand being squeezed.

Prof. Beckman also said, “Many movements of the body can be impaired by attempts at consciously controlling them.”

Walter Ness found that just position of the hands in different areas of the body can nudge laughter in different ways.

The videos presented show a variety of ways that laugher can be created.