Israeli clown doctor in Sydney

August 30, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Sydney has an extra reason to smile this week, with a visit by an Israeli clown therapist.

Avital brings on the smiles

Avital in the operating theatre

Avital Dvory is one of the senior clowns at Israel’s hospital clowning guild, Dream Doctors. Founded a decade ago, the Dream Doctors project is the leading advocate for medical art.

Dream Doctors foster joy and positivity to help motivate children and adults to cope with hospital treatments and overcome illness.

38-yr-old Dvory is visiting Australia to present at the National Clown Doctors’ Conference.

She will also perform and conduct workshops at the University of Sydney’s Medical School and the Randwick Children’s Hospital.

Clown doctors in many of the world’s hospitals visit paediatric wards to cheer up young patients, however clowning halts where the medicine begins.

By contrast, Israeli clowns are becoming an integral part of the health care team, undertaking rigorous medical training and teaming up with doctors to craft laughter therapies that they say help with disorders ranging from pain to infertility.

Studies have found that a clown’s presence in pre-op reduces the amount of anaesthesia administered and speeds up a patient’s recovery time.

“Israel’s approach to medical clowning casts a fresh light on an extraordinary art. We are thrilled to bring Avital to Australia, given her capacity to inspire patients, students, medical professionals and indeed anyone who sees her at work”, a spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Canberra said.

‘Medical clowning’ is increasingly being taken more seriously, with a degree program dedicated to the skill recently launched at The University of Haifa in Israel.

Clown Therapy is gradually becoming recognised as an essential element in the paramedical profession. Avital is part of the local and global professional community of therapeutic clowns committed to this medical art.

Avital is based at the Haemek Hospital in Afula.

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