Hi! I’m Emily Ruth Crinklaw-Bunch, please call me Emy. I’m a holistic health coach, meditation teacher, and best selling author. But, before that, I was a Radiologist Assistant and Radiographer for 15 years. To put it simply, I did procedures in nearly every aspect of medical imaging for a long time.
With only one year left to go in my 5 year training program, I realized working in medical imaging and hospitals was NOT what I wanted to do. While the technology is amazing and can help some people, I was seeing the same types of problems over and over.
My patients were completely disconnected from listening to and trusting their bodies. They came in for imaging on the doctor’s orders, believing that only the hospital “experts” could tell them what was wrong and fix it.
Perhaps because my grandmother was an old school nurse, I knew that good health and healing could be found in paying attention, making healthy lifestyle choices, and being patient. This isn’t to say that it’s easy, but certainly less painful, less costly, more effective than what we were doing in the hospital. And a heck of a lot more empowering.
Almost everyone that came in for an imaging procedure was scared and confused. I found myself taking a considerable amount of time to listen and talk to them about their thoughts and feelings so that they could feel safe.
If you’ve had any imaging done, you probably know that I was going against the grain here. Helping someone feel safe in that environment can take time. While ten minutes isn’t a lot of time, it is when you may be seeing 100 patients in a day, the waiting room is full, and you’re behind schedule.
As my husband has pointed out more recently, the humans in the room for imaging weren’t my “real” customers. The doctors ordering their exams and the radiologists reading the images I obtained were my “real” customers.
Therein lies the problem with the American way of practicing medicine. My husband isn’t wrong. Looking back, I can now clearly articulate one aspect of why my time in the hospital was so frustrating.
The key to helping patients through a scary time was slowing down and listening.
When everything around us is telling us to speed up and go faster. When people are waiting and there are deadlines, slowing down can be hard to do.
When the person in front of you is in pain, physically and emotionally, the only solution for me was to slow down and listen to them.
Yes, sometimes there are emergencies that require fast action and immediate decision making, but if you get real with the analysis, how often is that truly the case?
Even in a 900+ bed Level 1 Trauma Center in a massive metropolitan city, true emergencies are not the norm.
One of the areas I worked in for a while was neuro-interventional radiology, which boils down to putting teeny tiny wires and tubes up into the blood vessels of the brain to examine blood flow and stop blood flow or bleeding. This is high precision work. Sometimes there are emergencies, like an aneurysm that bursts.
Even in those life or death moments, slow is fast.
In order to think clearly, we must be calm.
The best tool for creating calm in nearly any situation, is to focus on taking slow and deep breaths.
When we’re anxious, we tend to stop breathing or take shallow and rapid breaths, which further increase feelings of anxiety. We also lose our ability to engage our prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that allows us to plan and make decisions.
It would be better in any situation, other than immediate violence, to be able to plan and make thoughtful decisions, wouldn’t it?
Your whole life is just as precious as your brain in a health crisis.
If the key to surviving a brain emergency and procedure is to slow down so one can think clearly, plan, and make precise movements, why wouldn’t the same approach be helpful in all other situations and areas of your life?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Oh, well, because it’s not brain surgery and it’s not life threatening, it’s different.”
Is it though?
I know so many things in life feel like an emergency and like we have to hurry.
But a saying comes to mind: “if it’s not worth doing right the first time, it’s not worth doing.”
Imagine taking a little time to slow down, plan, and take deliberate action just 1% more, what would your experience of life be like? What about 10% more?
- Would you make better informed decisions?
- Would you take more deliberate action?
- Would you take different actions?
- Would you create different results?
There are plenty of people surrounding the neuro-interventional suite who are wishing things would go faster. I can only imagine the anguish of family members waiting 6-7 hours for us to stop the bleeding in a teenager’s skull and give them a report.
But the only way to increase the chance of survival is to work with a calm and deliberate quickness. A quickness that requires slowing down enough to think clearly, steady the hands, and move deliberately and precisely.
I have been in rooms with doctors whose mantra is not “slow is fast,” and the outcomes were not as good, even when the patient was fine, the staff most definitely was not.
When the mantra is “slow is fast” the patients and the providers come out better.
Now as a health coach, the same theme comes up over and over again. For my clients and myself.
The next time you feel like you need to get things done faster, your anxiety is creeping higher, and the world is closing in on you; stop. Take a few deep breaths and maybe even a walk around the block.
As you calm down and reconnect to yourself, your goals, and YOUR pace, how does that affect the decisions you make and the actions you want to take next?
Teaching you how to slow down and listen to your body is how I support you in eliminating anxiety about your health and wellness. Working with me is the missing link to taking the tools I share in this blogpost and elsewhere and putting them into practice in your life consistently. The sooner you work with me, the sooner you start feeling calm and in control of your health and wellness.
I would love to connect with you during a free consultation. We’ll get clear on your vision of health and wellness, discuss how slowing down and listening to your body is the solution to anxiety about your health, and how I can help you make healing simple and fun!
Please book your consultation at www.EmilyRuth.Health/work-together