Medical clowns have a way of mesmerizing children with their performance. The magic, humor, and movements of the clown focus the child’s attention. Might this be a window of opportunity for the medical clown to make a few healing hypnotic suggestions to the child?
Hypnosis has long been known to be a good healing aid. Even the American Medical Association has recognized this when applied by a qualified health professional. Currently, few, if any, medical clowns use hypnotherapeutic suggestions in their performance. The clown could even teach the child to hypnotize themselves for difficult medical procedures. Who better could describe flying away on a magic carpet than a clown or performer?
The hypnotic suggestions could be embedded within the clown’s performance. There are established hypnotic scripts available for children. The clown could then weave these suggestions within the performance. The child would be entertained, relaxed, and given healing suggestions all at the same time.
On the other end of life, many senile adults are child-like. Therefore, these same techniques could be tried in geriatric settings.
Below are listed some uses where hypnosis has helped children manage difficult situations, especially in a hospital environment.
- Acute pain management, especially when the pain is known to be imminent, such as repeated treatment sessions. These types of treatments might include swallowing pills, injections, IV initiation, spinal taps, or bone marrow procedures.
- Chronic pain can also be managed effectively.
- Relaxation is known to promote healing, as well as to make medical procedures easier.
- Anxiety might very well be impeding breathing, accelerating heart rate, and just making the child more uncomfortable than necessary.
- Reduce cancer pain and perhaps even promote remission. Hypnosis has even been shown to improve the immune system, probably by reducing overall stress.
- Nausea can be controlled, especially during chemotherapy.
- Anxiety of being separated from parent and familiar surroundings can be reduced.
- Assist getting to sleep, which of course is healing in itself.
Hypnosis is something that the Clown Doctor could learn. To ensure competent treatment, the Medical Clown could also be a licensed or certified Hypnotherapist. In addition, any hypnotic treatment should be reviewed and approved by the hospital medical team, parents, etc.
- Clown Therapy and Hypnosis are two separate agents to promote healing and relaxation.
- Hypnotherapeutic suggestions might be a good addition to a Medical Clown’s performance.
- Combining Clown Therapy and Hypnotherapy might be another step toward total integrative mind-body healing.
For more information:
- Clown Care
- Hypnosis for treatment of pain in children by Alex L. Rogovik, MD PhD et al.
- Clinical Hypnosis With Children by William C. Wester et al., Brunner/Mazel Publishers, 1991
- Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy With Children by Daniel P. Kohen et al., Routledge, 2011
- Hypnosis, clowns, and video games may help relax children before a general anesthetic
- Clown Doctors Heal with Hope, Magic, and Humor
Disclaimer – Article is for information only and is not medical advice.