15 Mar Embraced by Life — in a Hospital?
Yesterday, I visited a friend in the hospital. The visit got me thinking about some of the ways in which our society deals with illness in a manner that does not support a mindset of wellness.
I’ll preface this by saying that I understand that there are a lot of factors causing things to be the way they are, and that the “sickness scene” did not become this way in a vacuum. This post is simply me imagining a world in which wellness, healing, and holding our bodies capable is the status quo.
That said, here is what popped into my head as I walked around the hospital:
I just don’t get it.
What if hospitals were beautiful?
What if there was art in hospitals? Sculpture, paintings, drawings and multimedia to stimulate minds and connect people to the beauty of humanity and life.
What if people received touch therapy, craniosacral, reflexology, gentle chiropractic care and massage when they were in the hospital? Wouldn’t they feel better and wouldn’t this stimulate their immune system? Wouldn’t they feel deeply cared for and nurtured?
What if food was lovingly prepared and offered in a visually appealing way? Ripe delicious fruit, fresh veggies (not soggy and grey) could be served. What if all of the food could be seasonal and gorgeous? Maybe even a menu presented to those who don’t have much of an appetite? Wouldn’t it be better to serve them something they actually chose and felt some hunger for?
What if the caregivers were all well rested? What if they could just come to work from a good night’s sleep and breakfast with their family? What if they could show up having just worked out in the hospital gym or at a yoga class?
What if hospitals were designed so that every room looked out on a lush and flowering garden? What if there were lots of places to simply walk, benches to linger on and take in the visual feast? Places that attract birds? With a special pet area so patients can have a visit with their family pet?
What if they had a gym for both the care providers and people receiving care? Or a warm pool or hot springs?
What if there was an intimate auditorium for concerts and comedians to perform in? What if these performances could be live-streamed into the rooms for those who could not make the trip? What if there was the opportunity to be immersed in the lovely healing sound of live tenors or stringed instruments? Or to enjoy a good belly laugh?
What if each room was a lovely color with comfy furniture? What if warm blankets in natural fibers, cozy comforters and a choice of pillows were available?
What if there was a counseling area with couches and tea where patients can go to? Or the opportunity for a therapist to come to their room and have a conversation with them?
What if we referred to them as guests instead of patients?
I just don’t get it.
I think if we want to get people well then they should be embraced by life, beauty and community.
My message is simple:
Let’s raise kids who will grow up and create these environments.
If you liked this blog post you may enjoy this article from the Atlantic.