Home Articles Channels Daily Retreat Inspiration Classroom Boutique Community Singles Resources Contact

SoulfulLiving.com :: Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, Self Help and Self Improvement

Your #1 Online Resource for Personal and Spiritual Growth Since 2000.
Mandala and Chakra Pendants
New Age Gifts and Products, Buddhist and Tibetan Jewelry, Meditation and Yoga Supplies
Mandala Art Prints



Our Sponsors:

The Mandala Collection :: Buddhist and Conscious Living Gifts
Inspirational Gifts

Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Body of Grace
Eco-Friendly Gifts

Yoga Download
Yoga Download

The Mandala Collection
Give a Gift with Soul

Celia Sue Hecht

Patching Up Funny Bones
by Celia Sue Hecht

To millions, the name Dr. Patch Adams conjures up images of Robin Williams in a plaid shirt, baggy pants and big red clown nose, bringing fun and laughter to his patients. But when the real Patch Adams stands up, you'll see he's not much different in real life. The tooting horn, the red nose, the frenetic energy - it's all a part of the outward persona of Patch Adams. But inwardly, Patch is hoping the movie portrayed the inner message - what he calls the healing energy of living funny.

What does Patch think of the movie based on his life? "The world needs a lot more love, laughter and happiness in order for joy to become our paradigm. We get a lot of messages from Hollywood. I'm glad this was a very positive message that a lot of people could relate to and be inspired by," Patch says. "We need many more messages of compassion, generosity and fun. The popularity of the movie shows us that."

Patch grew up an army brat, living in places for a year or so at a time - Germany, Japan and throughout the United States - depending upon where his dad was commissioned. Patch's father died when he was 16, leaving the young man in emotional turmoil. He checked himself into a mental hospital, thus beginning a turning point which allowed him to see that it wasn't he who was crazy, but yet, it was his soul that was in pain. He realized during this spiritual awakening the healing power of humor, friendship and love.

Some say "Joy to the world," is Patch's simple mission. Others think he's a controversial character with charisma not unlike the Music Man. Patch explains, "I realized that the most revolutionary act that anyone can commit is to be happy. It takes no greater effort to be happy every day than to be miserable."

Patch's brand of silly humor is his mainstay labor of love. "Humor has a powerful medicinal effect on disease. People need to and are hungry to laugh more. Research has shown that laughter increases the secretion of natural chemicals that make people feel good," Patch enthuses. "Laughter seems to have a positive effect on many cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Psychologically, humor helps one develop good mental health. It is an excellent antidote to stress. Besides, being funny is powerful magnet for friendship."

According to Patch, friendships are also essential for good health. When we relate to one another, we are less likely to become lonely or isolated. Having support while we face stress helps ease our suffering. The clown doctor defines health as "happy, vibrant, maximum well-being. Friendship is the best medicine. Laughter and love are the context in which friendships happen. We dissipate pain through laughing. In a healthy world, humor is a way of life. People are funny as a rule not an exception. Everyone is funny to someone else. Open up to the comedian inside. Nuts of the world unite."

Patch's advocacy of ho-ho-listic medicine almost got him kicked out of medical school for being "excessively happy." He persevered, and went on to treat patients free of charge in a hospital with friends for several years until resources dissipated and he had to reconsider his options.

"I have a dream to build the first fully interdisciplinary hospital in the world in a rural community in order to promote the love of all people. Everyone's opinion is valid and all disciplines are accepted," Patch insists. "Our target in 1971 was that the Gesundheit! Institute would be completed by 1975. It has now taken us 28 years, but we are much more prepared for what we will build. We are exploring how humans can live harmoniously with one another and sustain life on this planet."

"We will not charge patients for medical services. We will not do third party reimbursements and we won't carry malpractice insurance," he posits. Some wonder how the hospital will sustain itself and if Patch's dream is too good to be true. Donations of services, equipment and funds are all necessary to build the West Virginia hospital.

"I love to see people spending their lives in a joyful celebration of service, not out of sacrifice and pity." Patch says, "I don't define people by their diseases. Medicine should be about the relationship between healer and patient. The doctor-patient relationship should never be a financial transaction. We want to develop a community of friends and family who trust one another. Mutual respect, honesty and friendship could pave the way for new innovations and reforms."

"Physicians should be able to cry with patients and hug them and receive the same care in return," Patch continues. "Studies have shown that the presence of a doctor can have a positive impact on a patient's health. When there's a deep friendship, the effect is most profound. Love is the most powerful medicine of all and it involves giving and receiving."

Patch says that the basic nature of a joy paradigm, in an optimistic society, everything just is what it is, "Why do we have this Oscar or gold medal way of looking at things? The most, the greatest, there are 10 billion greatest which one do you choose? Why do we label everything therapy? Do you have to have a degree in go-for-a-walk therapy, take-a-deep-breath therapy, I'm going-around-the-block therapy? We could have chair therapy, sock therapy, there are infinite possibilities of therapies."

His prescription for overcoming disease is there are no easy pat answers, no one magic bullet, and no simple solutions. "I don't have a cookbook for any disease," he says. "No two people with a disease are the same. There could be 100 different factors causing symptoms. Ultimately, each person decides what's best for themselves. Everyone on this planet is responsible for their own healing and enjoyment," Patch concludes.

In the world according to Patch where love and friendship are what we need to be healthy, healing through humor certainly does prevail.

© Copyright Sue Hecht.  Originally published in Solimar Magazine, Summer 1999.  All Rights Reserved. 

Celia Sue Hecht
Celia Sue Hecht
is a published writer, editor, PR specialist, and metaphysician who has published hundreds of articles in newsletters, newspapers, and magazines, as well as obtained media coverage in all venues (radio, TV, in print) for authors, business professionals, doctors, health care professionals and healers. She also does psychic medium readings connecting people with those who have passed over, and gives talks, classes, and workshops on a variety of topics including Getting Publishing, Freedom from Fibromyalgia, and Giving Birth To Soul. For more info, please visit her website at www.suepr.freeyellow.com/welcome.html, email: suemagic@pyramid.net, or call 831-755-5791 or 702-225-8206.

Learn more about Sue Hecht



Daily Soul Retreat at SoulfulLiving.com
Soul Retreat Goodies!

Support SoulfulLiving.com
Show Us Your Love ♥


Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Wild Divine Meditation Software featuring Deepak Chopra
Meditation Software

Energy Muse - Sacred Yoga Jewelry

Copyright © 1999-2014 Soulful Living®.

Soulful Website Design by The Creative Soul®.