Is laughter the best medicine?

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      SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A good sense of humor can't cure everything that ails you, but more proof is mounting about just how beneficial laughter can be.

      Researchers at Loma Linda University are the latest to prove the mood-boosting benefits of a good laugh, showing that not only can laughter lower stress, but it can improve your memory.

      And that's just the beginning.

      But you don't have to tell that to local comedian Leigh Anne Jasheway.

      She not only lives it, she teaches it.

      For 22 years, Jasheway has stood in front of audiences and made them laugh.

      And for two decades, she's taught the art of stand-up and improv to local students.

      But she actually found her career in comedy accidentally.

      Facing job burnout and a divorce, Leigh Anne Jasheway grabbed a community college catalog and randomly picked a class to enroll in.

      "I could have landed on naked clog dancing and it would have been a whole different experience," Jasheway said, "and my career would be over by now."

      It wasn't clog dancing - it was a one-time session on comedy writing.

      She was hooked.

      "The idea is that when something bad happens to realize that's there's the potential for humor in almost everything," Jasheway said.

      She's been writing and teaching comedy ever since.

      Kathleen Caprario-Ulrich took Jasheway's class 4 years ago as a final step in grieving the death of her husband.

      "I've kept three therapists in car payments for the last dozen years, but apart from that there was something that kept sticking," she said. "I needed to be able to laugh."

      She stepped out of her comfort zone - and onto a stage.

      "I thought I would throw up. It was like butterflies? It was more like I had a Pterodactyl in there trying to get out," she said.