Keywords: Doctor Clown; Clown-Therapy; Geleatology; Laughter; Health.
The article explores and underlines the positive effects of laugh and humor on the treatment of illnesses, and in particular of psychosomatic illnesses and, more generally, on the promotion of good health. It also explores the roots of the clown figure - active since the XVIII century in England, in Spain, in the Italian Commedia dell'Arte - as well as the ones of clown-therapy and of the clown as an operator in the health environment: that is as doctor clown. The clown-therapy - or geleatology (from the Greek language ghelos and logos) - is by now well known like a branch that use art to promote health, through a metaphoric and therapeutic language able to reach immediately the people. The validity of the clown therapy as an art therapy is enhanced through research carried out in Italy by numerous, different scientific and training ad hoc associations.