POPLARVILLE – Women need laughter and tears to maintain an emotional balance and cope with the changes life brings, the keynote speaker told more than 300 people Saturday at Pearl River Community College for the Women’s Health Symposium.
Sally Baskey of Arlington, Texas, reminded the audience that laughter causes the brain to release endorphins which increase feelings of happiness.
“You control the dosage,” Baskey said. “That’s what self-medicating is all about.”
Baskey spoke at the fifth annual Women’s Health Symposium, which offered women free health screenings and pampering, including manicures and chair massages; an art walk, break-out sessions on a variety of topics as well as the luncheon where she spoke.
“We’re very proud to have you come to our campus and be part of special events,” Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president, said in welcoming the women.
Health becomes more important to people as they age, he said.
“Quite frankly, we sometimes take our health for granted,” Lewis said. “We hope events like this help put a spotlight on various health issues.”
Women lined up for health screenings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, blood cholesterol and posture analysis. They also stood in line for the chair massages offered by Healing Touch Day Spa in Hattiesburg.
“It was fabulous,” said Alicia Logan of Hattiesburg.
The luncheon included entertainment by The Voices, PRCC’s jazz vocal ensemble, and more than 100 door prizes. Rachel Fucich of Starkville won the grand prize of a two-night stay at the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino.
Baskey started her career as a motivational speaker after a year which started when her husband left her.
“My husband was not as happy with me as I was with him,” she said. “I so did not see this coming. I get home one day and the man is gone.”
During the next year, the divorce was finalized, their dream home was sold, her Lexus was totaled and her father died of cancer. The changes left her disliking the adage about a door doesn’t close unless a window opens.
“That much cross ventilation can blow you away,” she said.
But the adage is true, and laughter eases the pain, Baskey said.
“Laughter is a good thing,” she said. “Why is it so undervalued as a way to take care of ourselves? Laughter is my drug of choice; crying is my physical therapy. Life is about 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.”
Grand sponsor for the symposium was the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. Silver sponsors were Firth National Bank of Picayune/Poplarville, Hancock Band and Mississippi Power Foundation. Bronze sponsors were BankPlus, Hattiesburg Clinic, Highland Community Hospital, Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, Wal-Mart Supercenter of Picayune and Wesley Medical Center.