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Yeah, but what happens when it’s not acute?

Our current medical system is brilliant at acute and emergency care. We have fantastic and dedicated practitioners, surgeons and specialists, amazing drugs, tools, and even precise robots which can treat, extract and connect us to technology in ways that save lives and give the opportunity for a greater quality of life.

Yes, that’s all true and…our current medical system is terrible when it comes to seeing at the whole person. With all due respect to the people, processes and tools mentioned above, health is about more than what happens in crisis situations. Health is what happens in our everyday life. Health is what we feel, think and how we relate to each other and our environment.

We seem to understand that the leg bone is connected to the hip bone, but somehow miss that the emotional status of each person is connected to and through all the bones. And therein lies the problem: You can’t treat what you don’t accept or understand. Said another way, if the patient outcome falls outside of current accepted measurement practices, does it exist? The answer for the patient is yes. Sadly, the answer for the medical and wellness practitioner, the answer is no. So how do we get leaders in the medical profession to acknowledge that individual emotional and cognitive states have tangible effects on that person’s ability to do the most basic things to take care of themselves: eat and sleep well, interact socially, and move with vigor and joy?

Our program, Yes, And…eXercise!, is designed to address this gap specifically. Through direct, honest, playful interaction we rediscover ourselves and each other. We notice people and the value in things we’ve been looking past. Because the exercises we perform are fun, people engage fully and are open to transformative insights that can immediately affect quality of life. The way we play is simple, meaning everyone can participate. At the same time, it’s not always easy, meaning there is effort and growth. Finally, what we do is transferable and immediately useful in daily life. One of my favorite stories that illustrates this is of a woman who felt emotionally and cognitively overwhelmed by a difficult psychiatric test administered while being evaluated for her deep brain stimulation. She asked the clinician to play a simple improvisational game with her called, “What’s not wrong with your life?”. The clinician agreed and played the game. The results were immediate and significant; the patient felt more calm, relaxed and prepared to finish her test. There was no special training necessary. No complicated equipment. There was a connection - a reminder to the patient going through the testing that she was valuable, visible and vulnerable. The clinician took the extra steps to hear, see and validate the patient as a person, which helped her achieve her goals.

This is one small example of the potential uses of these skill sets to improve care and quality of life. For more information or to book a training session for you, your group or your staff, please contact Robert Cochrane, PhD at

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