Mama Therapy

PatchAdamsArmeniaTrip001I was just in Paraguay for the first time, thanks to the great efforts of two medical students–Andrea and Daniella. In one day I did a 4-hour workshop, a 2-1/2 hour lecture, and 1 hour of clowning with 6 medical students in their hospital. Clowning is always a magical surprise. Most of the time was spent in one room with six women on the traumatology ward. Almost never do I clown with a group together, but these students were glued to me so I treated it as clown medical rounds. We walked in a room and instantly a women, at least 80, ran up to me with the countenance of my mom, thrilled to see us. She was so enthusiastic, she even gave a little dance step. I invited her to join us (I called her “mama”) around her daughter’s bed (mama, the six students, her grandson, and I) imitating her shuffling dance, changing musically “mama therapia” and wiggling our fingers. It was riotous and the room was laughing. The whole world loves laughing grannies. I decided to go bed to bed, like medical rounds, and the next bed I invited 4 staff to join us. The patient had birds on her cover; and so I asked her to chant: “peep! peep!” between our “mama therapia” ‘s. The volume of hilarity captured us and drew other staff in, laughing, enthusiasm mounted. We attended the next patient, no 16 strong as if on a magic carpet. Mama now was wearing my chicken ahad and we added clucking like a chicken to our repertory. The physician, head of the hospital, joined us with glee.

There were so many people now, and it is so important not to have patients feel they are on display, that I had all come into the room. I lined them up like a chorus facing the 3 remaining women and me. All did the mama therapy dance and chicken clicking–flapping our wings after we slowly raised our hands, while steadily increasing the sound whooo! We did this now to all 3 remaining patients.

I then had the three patients laying in bed, so it was back to us.

All the time Mama’s radiance captured us all. I couldn’t stop. So I got out my whoopie cushion and had mama fart on her kneeling grandson. The packed room of people surrounding them were hysterical. Well, I then had the doctor, head of the hospital, fart in the face of the junior attending physician. Again thunderous laughter. And to end it all mama and I get in my big underpants and march out of the room and the ward, singing the Underwear Song.

Such Wild Magic. Thank you life!


Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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