Medical clowns to bring joy back into patients’ lives

A workshop for medical clowns by Komali MediClown Academy in progress at Pondicherry University on Friday. Photo: T. Singaravelou  

It’s well known that laughter is the best medicine, but for those people who are chronically sick, the last thing on their minds is laughter. For these people, the Komali MediClown Academy is working with various hospitals around the area to spread a sense of cheer.

The idea of a medical clown is very different from regular clowning. Many patients in the hospital are very much in need of some cheer in their life, and the simple act of laughter reduces stress and could help in the recovery process of the patient, Founder of the academy Fif said.

She has come to India from Canada to help spread laughter in the villages. The idea behind the MediClown Academy is to train and develop a network of committed dedicated people to spread joy among those who are suffering mentally, emotionally and physically.

The academy will work with hospitals, schools, educational institutions and corporations to help promote the idea of laughter yoga and medical clowning.

Everybody needs a little silliness in their life, and through the silliness comes laughter and joy. For people in the hospital, especially children, helping them laugh and making them imagine a life outside the hospital where they are happy and joyful can go a long way to alleviate their suffering.

This therapy does not work only with people who are sick, but also victims of abuse and anyone who has suffered from some form of tragedy can use medical clowns.

Another idea that the Academy promotes is Laughter Yoga. Through breathing, love and laughter, it is possible to transform a tragedy into something that people can deal with.

The MediClown Academy was started by Fif and Hamish, who are medical trainers and certified laughter yoga teachers as well as medical clowns. They have worked with children and elderly people in hospitals, including children with special needs.

So far, the academy will be working with the Institute of Child Health. They have also taught laughter yoga to a number of people across Auroville.

On Friday, they had a workshop at Pondicherry University for the students of Social Work to give them an idea of medical clowns.

According to Head of the Department Nalini Raghunathan, many students of social work visit hospitals to offer comfort to those in need. These students will benefit from medical clown training, she said.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 6:03:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/medical-clowns-to-bring-joy-back-into-patients-lives/article5791713.ece

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