This isn't just clowning around.
More and more, the medical community is coming to the realization that laughter is good medicine. Studies show that humor lessens stress and that laughter releases pain-killing endorphins, enhances the body's immune defenses and creates a sense of camaraderie and trust between patient and caregivers that heightens the healing process.
Aided by a Center for Integrated Learning grant, the St. Ambrose University Master of Occupational Therapy and Psychology Departments are teaching a spring semester course on Medical Clowning. Christine Urish, PhD, a professor of occupational therapy, and Carol Devolder, PhD, a professor of psychology, are instructing an inaugural class of 18 students. On Saturday, Feb. 22, St. Ambrose joined with members of the Quad City Clown Troupe for a full day's workshop conducted by trainers from the national Hearts and Noses organization on medical clowning techniques.
View television coverage by WQAD.
View a Facebook photo album of the event.