I chose the article “Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine.” This article discusses the similarities of clowns in New York City Hospitals and the non-western healers, known as Shamans. These individuals work in special ways to heal and help individuals and their families. The article provides examples of how this is done.
The Clown Doctors and Shaman dress in silly clothing that includes big shoes, red noses, white jackets, and carry a bag of all sorts of objects (kazoo, whistles, bells, balloons). These silly looking doctors are not actual medical healers, but normal individuals who work for The Clown Care Unit (CCU). Clown Doctors are looked at with great admiration from the society in which they reside. In order to lower the stress level in the hospital, these clowns spend most of their time cheering on the patients and their families. They also entertain bored children, anxious women in the waiting rooms, and worried families. They use their fun character to distract children who are in environments not made for them. They interact with their patients by bringing laughter and smiles into the room. They slowly take away the pain a child may be feeling due to their medical illness or disease.
The system and culture that they operate in is like all others. Not only do they believe that relieving the pain of disease medically is important, but the Shaman find it especially important to take care of the patient socially too. They feel that if someone’s mindset is in the right place and they are emotionally stable that, that will speed the physical healing process up. I do agree with this. When you mentally feel good, you try to get your body to feel the same way. A lot of problems that people have depend on how much they let “get to them” through emotions and their mind. Healthcare is still delivered in a professional way and as they clowns make their way through the hospital, they also lift the spirits of the staff so that they are able to perform to their utmost ability.