"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I just got back from a presentation by one of the local hospitals on the mind/body/spirit connection. I love going to health seminars, I usually learn something and I enjoy the day out and the interaction with others. Today's presentation was substandard, and that is putting it politely. I will list a few of the points on the (boring) Powerpoint presentation, with my own snarky little comments in RED:

"Chemicals and hormones release by Neurons affects your body" I copied this word for word---the grammar is atrocious. What is more atrocious is that the presenter read this off the computer screen and then didn't give any explanation. At all.

"Damage to discrete areas within the brain can thus produce a variety of disorders of the mind." Again, absolutely no explanation.

"Mindful Awareness: Recognize what is happening us in the moment it occurs. Accept the experience without any judgement or emotional reaction." A laudable goal; however, much harder to put into practice without some guidance. I am a big fan of mindfulness, and although none of us practice it as often as we should, while you are reading this-----stop for a moment. Right now, what are you experiencing? What colour is on the screen you are reading? How does your chair feel beneath you? I'm right now feeling the carpet under my bare foot, and I am feeling the push of my laptop edge on my right wrist. The air conditioner just kicked on, and I can hear a loose shingle outside my condo.

"Conditions that may affect Mindfulness: Being laid off from your job, dealing with the death of a loved one, experiencing money problems....." Yes, it is true that these very stressful life events can affect your ability to be mindful and/or focus on the present moment, but good grief, what about the events that we deal with every single day? For some of us, chronic pain, menopausal sypmptoms (I was particularly sad that she didn't discuss this, as most of the ladies in the room were over 40), the barrage of information in this day and age, social media distractions, and the list is enormous!

"Exercise (screen title) A very effective stress buster, improves quality of life". If you don't know this, you really need more intensive help than a health seminar. There were so many other benefits that the presenter could have touched on: bone health, flexibility, balance so that falls are less likely as we age, cardio, the importance of weight training and cardio, finding an exercise that works for you, and so on. A new study just came out that as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can be helpful in reducing coronary and cancer risks (however, more exercise per week, a minimum of 150 minutes, is preferable).

"Meditation (screen title): Awareness exercise and concentration". The presenter gave no resources on different ways to meditate, books/DVDs and Smartphone applications available.

"The Relaxation Response: Take time off to relax. Treat and own your body." And honest, that's all she said about it. Not about finding ways to get a little time to yourself, and nothing about hobbies, girls time together, enjoyable pursuits, and the myriad of other ways to take care of yourself.

I could go on but that's enough for today. Thank you for letting me rant----see, it relieved my stress and I feel better already. I am going to work on getting a list of resources together for you about stress management, mind/body/spirit connection, etc. and as soon as I have it completed, I will post it for you! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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