Weekly Highlights #2: Fun, Placebos, How We Confront Challenge

A few quick reflections and highlights from last week.

Grateful for our family Easter egg hunt!  This Sunday, our kids discovered that the eggs they had carefully dyed on Saturday had been hidden throughout our house and yard.  Not much compares to the joy of a 3 year old and 1-year old encountering a fun surprise.  Our son particularly enjoyed it, shouting “oh! Oh! OH! OOHH!” every time he spotted an egg.

Reflecting on transparency and fun.  I went to the dentist in Colorado for the first time this week.  They took X-rays, as usual.  But – the dentist also explored my mouth with a small camera, that displayed video on a large visible screen.  Two insights from this.  First – the color, real-time image felt much more personal, more like my teeth, than the normal radiology image.  Second – as he was examining, the dentist hummed a soft, goofy tune.  I really appreciated this small way of lightening the mood and bringing fun into a tense moment.

What I’m read: Mind Over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin.  This is a book about the non-double-blind, very real, aspects of health, including a well-thought out exploration of placebos.  I’ll share a quote I appreciated on the power of language.  I think this quote applies to all of us, speaking to the influence our thoughts and words have on ourselves and those around us.

“As health-care providers, I think it’s our responsibility to consider how we might facilitate the process of helping our patients hold positive beliefs and release negative ones, so we can limit stress responses and elicit relaxation responses that help the body heal itself and prevent further damage.  Perhaps this act of love and service will have more profound effects than any drug or surgery.  It may take a few more minutes out of our day to deliver bad news in a way that facilitates healing, but the results could be extraordinary.”

Quote that resonated:  Last week, I shared a TED Talk by Phil Hansen.  I was going through my notes from it again this week, and appreciated this quote (emphasis added)

“When we are confronted with a challenge, our success is determined by our ability to change how we think about the challenge.”

Have a great week!


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