Clown therapy is a kind of distraction therapy that humanises the hospital environment. It also helps minimise pain levels and promotes psychological wellness, explains Agarwal, founder of Clownselors.

Clown therapy or therapeutic clowning is believed to have begun with Patch Adams, who is best known for his work as a medical doctor and a clown. Medical clowning has slowly started gaining momentum in India in the last year and is practised in only a few Indian cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Pondicherry.

According to Fif Fernandes, who runs the MeDiClown Academy with Hamish Boyd and also practice medical clowning in Chennai and Pondicherry, medical clowns are people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life who humanise the medical profession and stressful environments. Physical and mental health go together and medical clowning fills this gap that exists in care centres.

Doctors say, Clown therapy and laughter therapy improves the patient’s outlook and helps in speedy recovery. It not only helps patients by reducing pain and stress but also allows them to express their unpleasant feelings in a healthy way. It also supports medical teams by improving communication with patients, assisting them to perform examinations and procedures, supporting patients and staff in receiving or delivering bad news and humanises medical staff so the patients are not afraid of doctors.