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Developing Creativity Strategies for Healing with Increased Right Brain Activity [E068]

Right Brain vs. Left Brain! Join us in this episode to learn how to develop creativity strategies that access your right brain and start a healing process through creativity. Dr. Anthony shares an approach he has used with patients throughout the years to help with the healing process.

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Table Of Contents

Introduction To Creative Strategies

Dr. Bryan: Welcome back to the Wellness Connection Show, this is your host, Dr. Bryan Joseph, and we are on episode 68. I hope everybody is doing well today in this interesting world, for lack of a better word.

I am joined today by a former guest, a practitioner, and a provider that I get the opportunity to work with on a regular basis, Dr. Anthony Pesach. We have had, over the years, some really cool philosophical and clinical discussions. And this topic that we’re going to be sharing on today is more of a brainchild of yours and probably something that a lot of people don’t hear a lot of. Dr. Anthony was a guest on a previous podcast episode, E32: How To Prevent Aging Brain – Cognitive Decline & Brain Fog.

I think you start to see more and more people that become type A and stress oriented, left brain, and analytical. And this discussion today is maybe going to bridge that gap for those people, including myself, that probably need to access the right brain every once in a while.

Dr. Anthony: This came up because I don’t really have a background in healthcare or anything like this. I kind of stumbled into this. So I really came out of a creative background. I have an associates degree in photography. That’s where I met my wife, in photography school, and really was focusing more on the fine arts side of that, where she was focusing more commercially.

But I think I brought a lot of that sort of creative process into the way that I approach patient care. And also just personal time management, stress management. But also sharing those tools with patients to help, especially in the spring of 2020, a lot of crazy stress in the world.

Silencing the noise to be in the moment

Dr. Anthony: And it’s definitely applicable to anything that you do in life, I think if you have a career, frankly. And really that’s kind of the root of it. I think maybe we’ll start at the end here because one of the things that I’ve always kind of value is, it’s called different things, present time consciousness, where you’re in the moment, you’re not worried about what just happened, what’s going to happen.

But really being focused and actually, I learned that first from him when I was a student and I really kind of value that. I was like, “That makes a lot of sense.” Because I would often find myself thinking ahead to the next patient or to the next day where you really lose focus on what’s right in front of you. And that’s… There’s a cool clip… it was For The Love Of The Game that you shared with me. Maybe you explain that because I think you’d probably explained it better since you that pretty well.

Dr. Bryan: I think all of us could agree that there’s an awful lot of noise coming at us in this world on a regular basis. But inevitably our phone and technology are a tremendous amount of noise that starts to infiltrate our brain and our thinking. And before we know it, we have a stimulus that’s just crowding our brain. And I think it’s very important and I think that’s what you’re referencing when you’re talking about clear the mechanism sometimes to silence that noise as best as we can and get focused back on an internal state of being and just hear your own breathing and actually just be aware of like what you’re saying, the exact moment I’m in right now and nothing else.

Creativity Strategies To Silence The Noise

Dr. Anthony: One of the ways that I’ve learned to do that is through yoga and meditation. And one of the whole points of meditation is just kind of being in the moment. That can be hard to do when you’re in the middle of a full day. You’ve got appointment after appointment or you got meeting after meeting or you’re running through Zoom calls back and forth.

One of the things that I’ve found that’s very helpful for me is taking just a little micro-break, even if it’s just 30 seconds. So one of my passions is being outdoors. I know you are as well. And I love water. We always go, usually to some kind of river, we’re very fortunate here in Missouri to have just amazing pristine spring-fed rivers that are pretty much going all year round.

Most of the time, it’s been a while since we’ve been, with having kids and then COVID shut down and everything. Usually, when I would go out on these trips, I would take my phone or a camera or something and just record little videos of the spring or the creek or something like that. That, maybe 20, 30 seconds, if you’re just feeling harried, just pull it up on my computer just, “Oh.” And then you can get back to that place with a cleared mechanism where you’re centered and focused. That’s going to be different for everybody. But there’s got to be something where you can reset where you can do like a little clearing of that.

The importance of sleep

Dr. Bryan: The point being is every one of us is very familiar with a phone at this particular point. The reason we put it on the charger is to recharge the battery so that it could be ready and ripping and raring to provide for us the next day. And in our own lives, I don’t think that many of us realize how important that is. We think that we sleep and that’s enough, but there are ways.

Dr. Anthony: We have a whole episode about sleep that you and I did together, in fact. It’s one of the overlooked problem solving creativity strategies that we have built into our daily life if you’re doing it right.

What I mean by that is dreams can be a really effective way to recharge, but also to literally problem solve. And that sometimes it’s like, “What? What are you talking about?” But if you were to get good quality sleep ` I take magnesium every night.

If you’re not sleeping great, if you’re not dreaming, you’re not really getting good quality sleep. That’s one aspect of it. You’re not really recharging yourself throughout the night.

But psychologists over the years have talked about like dreams are your waking day, like running through your brain, filing information away and stuff like that. But if you really kind of practice it, you can actually solve problems in your dreams.

If you go into that with an intention of like, “All right, I think I want to try to be able to figure out how to solve this problem.” It can happen, which is pretty cool because your brain is on while you’re sleeping.

What if you’re an analytical person?

Dr. Bryan: For the mechanistic or the analytical. When you say this, what does that look like? When you wake up and you put yourself in that state, are you truly, in your brain saying, “Okay, boom. I got a solution that I saw the dream and now I know what I need to do.”

Dr. Anthony: I have one specific example of it. When I was in photography school, I used what they call a view camera, which, if you can imagine, like an old-timey photographer, like under a hood. It’s like this big, huge thing on a tripod, it looks like a big box. I wanted to figure out some unique shtick, if you will, for what’s going to be my black and white Ansel Adams landscape. Like what’s going to be my thing? And I just couldn’t really think of anything. I was really into meditation at that time. I was like, “Let me just… Let me put it to my dreams.”

Dr. Anthony: One of the ways that I’ve learned to do that is through yoga and meditation. And one of the whole points of meditation is just kind of being in the moment. hat can be hard to do when you’re in the middle of a full day. You’ve got appointment after appointment or you got meeting after meeting or you’re running through Zoom calls back and forth. for my grad degree or whatever,” but it was like, “Oh, that’s what I do.” I went into the lab and I did that and it totally worked. I have pictures on my wall today that are using that technique, that method. It sounds esoteric and weird, but if you really get disciplined in it and practice it, it’s possible.

Left Brain vs Right Brain For Creativity Strategies

Dr. Bryan: Could you share a little bit about the functionality, just in a general senses of what left brain versus right brain does.

Dr. Anthony: One hemisphere of your brain, like the biggest, big part of your brain, the stuff that looks like a wrinkled raisin, that basically has two halves on the left and the right. And one side is much more analytical, like working on math and statistics figures, even some aspects of language, they’re just like analytical type stuff. And then the other side, that’s more kind of creativity strategies, like an art student.

Some people are more dominant in one side than the other, but really I think the people that have the best, overall package of skills are able to access both and know when to be in one versus the other and when to let them collaborate and stuff like that.They work together all the time. But some people just get stuck so far on one pole or the other, that it’s like you’re missing a lot of potential that’s untapped.

I think our nature kind of our default is to, at least I’m probably guilty of this, you’d probably agree, is to focus on your strengths and reinforce those and really kind of hone those skills. Where really, you’re probably better off if you support your weaknesses.

Going outside your comfort zone

Dr. Anthony: It’s the comfort zone. You got to get outside of that. If you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll never grow.

Dr. Bryan: Typically comfort is a form of a container. Imagine having a plant and then you put a plastic cup over the plant and it’s contained, and it’s not able to expand or grow in nature the way that it’s supposed to. We do that with a lot of our comfort zones and habits that we have.

Dr. Anthony: It’s like a visible reminder of like, “All right, I’m done. Be back tomorrow.” If there’s some kind of physical cues that you do for that, or just having that thought in your mind. Or having some activity to be able to unwind, to turn off. Playing the piano, watching some comedy on TV or listen to a podcast on the way home. Something that’s that gets you out of that… what can be rigorous and intense day. It’s much harder if, now, you’re working at home and your kids are at home and there’s no distinction there, just finding something that works for you as an individual, I think is a powerful way to be able to stay focused. And I would call that creativity strategies for sure.

Stress Reduction Techniques For Increased Creativity

Dr. Bryan: What do you see as a clinician, as some of the physical, or even chemical manifestations, like in terms of sickness, that can show up because of that?

Dr. Anthony: High blood pressure, poor sleep and, certainly applicable to chiropractic muscle tension. You can see somebody just stressed. You can look at their tension across the room. Certainly not being able to focus. Things like ADD in kids could definitely be a manifestation there. Even as far as not being able to lose weight. Even if we go down like cancers and other crazy things that can just show up and manifest from mind over matter, frankly. It’s pretty powerful.

Dr. Bryan: There are actual places that really put a focus on stress reduction techniques that are using art, centers that are specifically about trying to access the right brain and let people kind of dissolve the stress, like photography.

Dr. Anthony: It would work. I had a girlfriend in high school that wanted to be an art therapist. She didn’t end up going into that. That’s usually more for trauma, but it’s the same kind of approach or like any modality that would be considered art. Music, drawing, painting, photography, filmmaking. Interestingly, my wife did camp counseling at a Christian performing arts camp for many years. And she was in charge of puppets. would teach kids how to do puppet shows and stuff. That’s art.

Any kind of creativity strategies to access that. Support your weak areas and then conversely, if you’re really, really good at it, maybe you need to like stare at a spreadsheet for a while and try to strengthen that side of your brain.

How creativity strategies make you a better provider

Dr. Bryan: Let’s go into just a personal question. Obviously, a lot of those things that you just shared are things that our listeners can actually put it into their own lives and benefit from in some capacity. How do you believe you accessing these things makes you a better provider?

Dr. Anthony: I think it helps you to think outside the box. So if you’re… I mean, it’s literally as simple as that. Like, ” how could I solve this problem maybe in a way I hadn’t thought of before.” And, getting back to the off on, it’s fun. I mean, that’s a good way to have something to do to relax. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be happier and have better, more fulfilling relationships with their family or be able to sleep better, feel less stressed. All those things just make you a better you to be able to be a better doctor, mother, pilot, Subway worker, whatever.

Dr. Bryan: To be better or the best or excellent at what you do, you have to be very present in what you do. And that’s how we started this conversation. In essence, if you’re distracted and you’re all over the place in your own mind and in your own body, it’s hard for you to actually be.

Let’s say you’re an accountant, you still need to be focused on what you do. And I think there’s value in that. And even if you’re not working and say you’re at home doing the dishes or you’re playing with your kids. To be distracted and try to do this thing that people are excited to brag about, say multitasking.

Dr. Anthony: We’re doing things poorly if you’re doing multitasking, not just several things efficiently.

Closing Thoughts on Creativity Strategies

Dr. Bryan: As we come to a head on this podcast episode, Dr. Anthony, is there anything else that we left out that you felt was important to share on the topic here?

Dr. Anthony: It’s funny because I think it goes both ways. And what I mean by that is, do you want to be the better surgeon, mom, the better professional? You have to be the better person. But I think it can go the other way. If you are in a toxic job, it will spill over the other way. Where then, if you’re in a really, really crummy environment, then it makes it really hard for you to be good as an individual, as a person, as a dad, as a human, as a husband. It’s hard to break that loop if you’re not able to have both of those things be well.

Dr. Bryan: That all pulls back to the common thread that’s been through so many of our episodes is this thing called stress. If we can’t mitigate and manage stress properly in our lives, no matter what tool you use, in essence, you’re going to see your health decline. It’s just the hierarchy of needs that we have to take care of is ourself. And then those around us get an opportunity to get a part of us. We can’t give away what we don’t have.

Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your personal habits and hobbies and things you enjoy. Because I think that sometimes we don’t dig deep enough into what people do outside of their own profession to try to reignite their purpose, their passion, and become present.

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