Non-profit organization, the Healing Headbands Project, hosted a fundraiser at the Tilles Center to help expand the Laugh Create Heal program. Funds raised at the ArtHeals benefit will be used to expand the Laugh Create Heal workshops to children’s hospitals, community organizations and schools throughout the United States. Local hospitals that currently are involved with the Laugh Create Heal program include Cohen’s Children Medical Center and Stony Brook Hospital.
The Healing Headbands Project combines the healing power of laughter and art to create and heal through special workshops. “When I was in Central American visiting my daughter in Guatemala, I went to a marketplace and saw the most beautiful madras headbands I ever saw in my life,” said Barbara Grapstein, founder of Healing Headbands Project. Grapstein researched, designed and created a comfortable headband made from a nylon/spandex material with a built in sun protector, perfect for patients undergoing treatments. “The headbands are cozy and comfy-feels like a hug,” said Grapstein
“My partner Barbara Grapstein and have dream of helping people creatively heal themselves with their art,” said Joanie Accolla, co-founder of Healing Headbands Project. The money will go towards certifying for Child Life Specialists for the Laugh Create Heal workshop. “Let us know if there’s someone in the community whether it’s your corporation, a hospital that you know, a college campus, we’ll do walks, drives, bike races and we’ll offer headbands and create with anybody,” said Grapstein.
Another important part of the program is the laugh element. Ericka Ruiz, a Laughter Yoga instructor, learned from Dr. Madan Kataria in India to help her patients with Alzheimer’s. “If you laugh, you bond with people,” said Ericka Ruiz. Laughter Yoga combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing. A popular mantra being chanted during Laughter Yoga is “HO HO HO HA HA HA .” This chant helps the body receive 3 times the amount of oxygen in half the amount of time. In only 5-10 minutes you will feel more energy from the oxygen. Laughter Yoga also helps create new connections in the brain by clapping palm to palm and finger to finger. “When you start doing exercises, stretches, getting more oxygen, your body is talking to your brain. You can change the dialogue by moving your body in a positive ways, even if your mind says no,” said Ruiz.
The ArtHeals auction featuring art created in the Laugh Create Heal workshop by fashion designer Donna Karan, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, and former New York Yankee Mariano Rivera. “All of these artists have gone through our workshop. It was a real game changer for them,” said Grapstein.
For more information about the Healing Headbands and Laugh Create Heal, go to www.healingheadbands.com