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‘Hospital Clowns’ bring laughter therapy to patients at Aster Medcity

For the first time in Kerala, Aster Medcity, the world class quaternary healthcare centre conducted an introductory session on ‘hospital clowning’ for its patients as well as doctors and medical staff. The session was conducted by professionally trained Hospital Clowns from The Little Theatre India. In addition to performing for the young patients in the wards and the OPD, the hospital clowns demonstrated how humor can be an effective tool to achieve a personal and trusting atmosphere between the caregivers and the patients, reducing stress, fear, helplessness and sadness in the hospitalized pediatric patient.

‘Hospital clowning’ is a common practice in countries such as the US, UK and Europe where professionally trained clowns visit medical facilities to help infuse joy to the treatment process. Hospital clowning is primarily targeted towards pediatric patients and is way to inculcate a trusting and synergetic environment between hospital workers and patients. Harnessing the positive benefits of cheer and mirth, hospital clowns help healthcare establishments ease the treatment process for pediatric patients.

Commander Jelson Kavalakkat, CEO - Aster Medcity said, ‘As one of the most advanced healthcare destinations in India, we have always been at the forefront when it comes to bringing unusual yet proven concepts that would be beneficial for our patients. Hospital clowning is one such concept and we are happy to be the first in Kerala to bring this concept into a pediatric setting. Today’s session is a first step in a long term collaboration with the aim of enhancing the treatment and recovery process for our young patients.”

Mr Krishnakumar Balasubramanian , Artistic Director of the Little Theatre on the occasion said ‘Hospital Clowning is the process of restoring necessary control and emotional well being to the patients through positive interactions like physical comedy, story telling, magic, music and dance. The laughter is only a by product this’

The team from Little Theatre, Chennai Ms Rohini Rau , Doctor and Medical Clown, Mr Shabeer Kallarakal, Mr Vikas Rao and Egypr Dinesh ,Hospital Clowns

Hospital clowning effects patients on different levels. At the physiological level, the laughter causes a release of endorphins which stimulate the immune system, while positive feelings are initiated at anemotional level. It also helps to distract the patient and family from the immediate situation and stimulates interaction between the clown, child and the caregivers. Studies have shown a reduction in anxiety levels and relief in pain due to the presence of a hospital clown and an overall positive impact on pediatric health.

The Little Theatre Hospital Clowns has the distinction of having created India’s first Hospital Clowns Troupe with 12 professional actors who were specially trained by Master Clown Trainer Hilary Chaplain from New York in April 2015. Their hospital clowns have been working with children at the Government Children’s Hospital, Chennai since June 2015. The program at Aster Medcity is their first initiative in Kerala.