clown doctors in NYC

The article I chose to summarize was “Clown Doctors in NYC.” This article described the role of alternative forms of medicine in order to treat patients physically, mentally and emotionally. They described a group of volunteer clowns who are a part of the “Clown Care Unit,” bringing smiles and laughter to patients and their family members, in order to promote positive healing and hopefully recover sooner while they are in the hospital. The use of alternative forms of medicine has become increasingly popular in hospitals in recent years. Research has shown a strong correlation between positive healing and quicker recovery times. Many hospitals have created therapeutic programs for patients such as painting classes, pottery classes, yoga etc. It is believed that when patients are feeling comfortable and happy and are able to participate in calming and relaxing activities, this helps them recover quickly when combined with their treatment in the hospital. This article compared the clown doctors of New York to traditional healers called “shamans,” who provide alternative forms of healing to patients, and other healers of non-western societies. The unusual costumes and make-up of clowns are compared to those of non-western healers, and the healing techniques such as the use of music, drumming and dancing are also similar to acts of the clowns. One issue that was mentioned in the article was in regards to the way western physicians focus more on the disease than on the individual’s “experience” with the illness. The non-western healers, in contrast, are more concerned with the actual patient and how they are feeling mentally and emotionally. It is because of this reason, that more Americans are now seeking alternative medicine than western medicine. It is believed that these complementary styles of healing may make western medicine even more effective. This is observed with the clown doctors, in that the clowns cheer up the patients and comfort them when the patients have to undergo a difficult procedure. They are able to gain the patients’ trust and connect with them on a deeper level then some physicians may be able to.




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