Wellness Blog

By John Chuck, MD –SSVMS Joy of Medicine Advisory Committee Chair

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By John Chuck, MD –SSVMS Joy of Medicine Advisory Committee Chair

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By John Chuck, MD –SSVMS Joy of Medicine Advisory Committee Chair
You have heard it said that “laughter is the best medicine.” Indeed, most of us have experienced the pure joy associated with a good belly laugh. Laughter is often just what we need to snap us out of a foul mood or distract us from worry. It is also one of the best weapons we have to fight disease. In his bestselling book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins described his own recovery from a life-threatening condition, which he credited in large parts to laughter induced by watching Candid Camera and funny movies. Cardiologist Michael Miller from the University of Maryland has demonstrated that “mirthful laughter” works likes exercise and statins to postpone heart disease by a variety of mechanisms that reduce endovascular inflammation.
So please take this opportunity to watch a video that will make you laugh.
Menu options include:
The Royal Family Doctor, a 2012 Saturday Night Live classic starring Martin Short as Rupert Smythe-Pennington, Bill Hader as the Royal Family Doctor, and Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth II.
Candid Camera: Lousy License Plates Would you accept a plate that read 2STUPID?
By John Chuck, MD –SSVMS Joy of Medicine Advisory Committee Chair
"Gratitude is an opener of locked up blessings." - Marianne Williamson
When I was about ten years old, my father, a minister who frequently called on sick people in the hospital, advised me that I should be grateful every morning I could wake up and pee. You can imagine how this comment made little sense to me as a fifth grader. It wasn't until ten years later while studying anatomy and physiology that I began to understand what my father meant - namely that we should never take for granted the miraculous ways that the human body works because soon enough our highly evolved functions of swallowing, pooping, peeing, speaking, and thinking will begin to falter, sometimes in the split second it takes to have a car accident, heart attack, or stroke. What are the measurable benefits of replacing our typical morning growls with gratitude? Bob Emmons, a UC Davis professor of psychiatry and expert on gratitude, performed groundbreaking research on gratitude thinking in patients afflicted with neuromuscular diseases. He instructed a subset of these patients to engage in daily gratitude journaling. Specifically, he asked them to start out each day by writing down three new things they were grateful for. He found that the patients who did gratitude journaling twenty-one days in a row or more had better health outcomes and mood scores than those patients in the control group. The positive effect of starting out each day with an attitude of "Wow is me!" as opposed to "Woe is me" was so impressive that Bob was awarded a $5.6 million grant from the Templeton Foundation to further investigate the science of gratitude. To bring this gratitude message home with a bang, I invite you to enjoy this gratitude video by Louie Schwartzberg and Brother David Steindl-Rast.