The article I am summarizing and discussing this week is the Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western Medicine article which I found very informative and interesting. Basically this article just talks about healers in the Pediatric Unit of a New York hospital who work to help children and their families in a sort of non-conventional way. The Clown Care Unit is just the healers who work there who dress up as clowns and do funny, happy, and silly things in order to make the patients’ stay at the hospital a more pleasant one. The clowns really help the children and their parents feel more at ease and de-stress by having a few laughs! One thing I found really interesting in this article was the association between the clowns that work at the hospital and traditional healers of non-western societies. I never would have imagined linking these two tings or seeing a similarity between them until I read this article. It is clear to me now that the makeup and clothes the clowns wear are obviously not socially acceptable for someone who is not that profession but really reflects how the regular person in the western culture is basically transforming into a healer of non-western culture. The clown is now a healer with the face makeup and masks of ritual non-western healers and now the similarity seems very clear!
The clowns do not really heal and treat the body and symptoms like normal western healers, or doctors. Instead it is more of a psychological healing, which in turn benefits the body, as does the medical treatment the doctors are administering as well of course. The clowns administer the care by basically making the children and their families happy. By saying jokes, doing silly things, doing magic tricks and more, the clowns are helping to relieve the patients of stress and take their attention away from their illness and put it towards the fun! This really helps the children and it is safe to say that making the children happy will definitely make their parents happy as well, so this really benefits the whole family and helps to heal everyone in the room!