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19th US Surgeon General tells the wellness sector 'we all have the power to be healers'
By Katie Barnes 11 Nov 2020
17th and 19th US Surgeon Generals, Dr Richard Carmona (left) and Dr Vivek Murthy (right) spoke at the 2020 Global Wellness Summit
Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th US Surgeon General, spoke to attendees of the Global Wellness Summit yesterday (10 November) about the importance of addressing loneliness on a personal level, in the workplace, in communities and society.

In a powerful interview with Dr Richard Carmona, the 17th US Surgeon General and chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch, he said that an antidote to loneliness is human connection and building relationships with people.

“Few medicines are more powerful than love, compassion and kindness,” he said, “and all of us have the power to be healers because all of us have the power to be kind, compassionate and loving.”

Murthy has just been tapped by president-elect Joe Biden to lead the USA’s response to COVID-19. He’s also the author of a best-selling book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.

He explained that he was motivated to write the book because of things he’s seen during his many years of clinical practice and as surgeon general.

“I was never trained to think about loneliness in medical school, but I’d often see patients coming into hospital on their own in really difficult times and I’d ask them if there was someone I could call to be with them and a lot of times they would say ‘I wish there was, but there’s no one’.

“As surgeon general, people were talking to me about their struggles with depression, opioid use disorder, concerns with chronic disease and would say ‘on top of all of this, I have to deal with this on my own’, ‘I feel abandoned’, ‘I feel like if I disappeared tomorrow, no one would even care’– and this resonated with me.”

Loneliness, Murthy said, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and premature death and is also linked with a higher risk of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and a host of other conditions. All of these challenges, which are mostly preventable diseases, cost the US up to US$3tn a year in healthcare costs.

Recognising the social and economic burden of isolation, the UK even appointed a Minister for Loneliness in 2018 and Australia and several countries in Europe are also taking the lead to combat it.

“The book I wrote was essentially about loneliness, but I became fascinated and encouraged by the power of social connection,” Murthy said.

“The more meaningful social relations we have, the more it enhances all dimensions of our lives – not just our physical and mental health, it also enhances how we perform in school and in the workplace.”

But, he added, you don’t need years and years of relationships to make a difference. Even a barista at a coffee shop smiling at you, asking you how you are and waiting to hear your response counts.

“Research has shown that even if you have a brief interaction with someone that’s positive, that’s marked by kindness and compassion, you have a longer impact on them than just a few seconds.”

Touch is also profoundly important, he said.

Offering advice to all those in the world of spa and wellness, Murthy concluded: “If you think about designing your workplaces for your staff and the services you provide your community, just recognise that whenever you can, bring people together where they can understand one another more clearly by sharing, where they have opportunities to help one another which help to strengthen connection.

“Then you’re helping to build community. You're contributing to healing… especially during this time of COVID-19, because people are dealing with extraordinary levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty.”

To explore more ideas about how spas can help tackle loneliness, click here.


News
1 to 12 of 7618 news stories
02 Dec 2020
Spa and wellness veteran, Henri Chenot, has passed away, according to a statement released today (2 December) by his leading wellness brand, Chenot Group. Founded by Henri nearly 50 years ago, the Chenot Group has ... More
03 Dec 2020
Thermal spa operator Groupe Nordik has announced further details about its upcoming US$37.7m (CA$50m €34.4m, £29.4m) wellness project in Whitby, Greater Toronto. Scheduled to launch in Q2 2021, the spa will open under the banner ... More
02 Dec 2020
Marriott International has opened a new Luxury Collection hotel in Kyoto, Japan, complete with a spa and selection of traditional Japanese onsen baths. Located in a historic building which was once the private residence of ... More
01 Dec 2020
The Davines Group, together with skincare brands Comfort Zone and Skin Regimen, has announced Paolo Braguzzi will leave his role as CEO and managing director, in May 2021. Braguzzi will be replaced by current Davines ... More
27 Nov 2020
Ilana Moses, founder of the Florida Spa Association (FSA), has recently announced new alliances with the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) and Club Spa Fitness Association (CSFA.) According to Moses, these mutually beneficial collaborations ... More
30 Nov 2020
One&Only has unveiled a brand new luxury beachfront retreat in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, with a spa partnered with premium natural product house, Tata Harper Skincare. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a beachfront rainforest setting, One&Only ... More
26 Nov 2020
On Wednesday 2 December, all spas across England will be permitted to reopen, as the country emerges from its second lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the exit strategy this week in the Commons, ... More
26 Nov 2020
Montage has selected Carrie Sotebeer to lead the spa team at Montage Healdsburg resort in Sonoma County, California, opening 12 December 2020. The launch of Spa Montage Healdsburg will mark the operator’s sixth Spa Montage ... More
25 Nov 2020
Pullman Hotels & Resorts, part of the Accor group, is introducing Pullman Power Fitness, a social fitness concept with on-demand classes and a community of motivated guests. More than a gym, it taps into a ... More
25 Nov 2020
The Spa at Carden in Northern England has been named the UK’s Best New Spa at this year’s Good Spa Guide (GSG) Awards 2020. GSG hosted its annual industry awards ceremony virtually yesterday (24 November), ... More
25 Nov 2020
As the highly anticipated Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som continues to prepare for its opening in Q1 20201, Daniele Vastolo has been selected to helm the project’s pre-opening as GM. Zulal is the first management ... More
24 Nov 2020
The shortlist for the Hall of Wellness Awards (HOW Awards) has been announced, with 110 awards up for grabs, split into six categories – Middle East, Asia, Europe and UK, Oceania, Americas and Africa – ... More
     
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NEWS
19th US Surgeon General tells the wellness sector 'we all have the power to be healers'
POSTED 11 Nov 2020 . BY Katie Barnes
17th and 19th US Surgeon Generals, Dr Richard Carmona (left) and Dr Vivek Murthy (right) spoke at the 2020 Global Wellness Summit
Dr Vivek Murthy, the 19th US Surgeon General, spoke to attendees of the Global Wellness Summit yesterday (10 November) about the importance of addressing loneliness on a personal level, in the workplace, in communities and society.

In a powerful interview with Dr Richard Carmona, the 17th US Surgeon General and chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch, he said that an antidote to loneliness is human connection and building relationships with people.

“Few medicines are more powerful than love, compassion and kindness,” he said, “and all of us have the power to be healers because all of us have the power to be kind, compassionate and loving.”

Murthy has just been tapped by president-elect Joe Biden to lead the USA’s response to COVID-19. He’s also the author of a best-selling book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.

He explained that he was motivated to write the book because of things he’s seen during his many years of clinical practice and as surgeon general.

“I was never trained to think about loneliness in medical school, but I’d often see patients coming into hospital on their own in really difficult times and I’d ask them if there was someone I could call to be with them and a lot of times they would say ‘I wish there was, but there’s no one’.

“As surgeon general, people were talking to me about their struggles with depression, opioid use disorder, concerns with chronic disease and would say ‘on top of all of this, I have to deal with this on my own’, ‘I feel abandoned’, ‘I feel like if I disappeared tomorrow, no one would even care’– and this resonated with me.”

Loneliness, Murthy said, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and premature death and is also linked with a higher risk of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and a host of other conditions. All of these challenges, which are mostly preventable diseases, cost the US up to US$3tn a year in healthcare costs.

Recognising the social and economic burden of isolation, the UK even appointed a Minister for Loneliness in 2018 and Australia and several countries in Europe are also taking the lead to combat it.

“The book I wrote was essentially about loneliness, but I became fascinated and encouraged by the power of social connection,” Murthy said.

“The more meaningful social relations we have, the more it enhances all dimensions of our lives – not just our physical and mental health, it also enhances how we perform in school and in the workplace.”

But, he added, you don’t need years and years of relationships to make a difference. Even a barista at a coffee shop smiling at you, asking you how you are and waiting to hear your response counts.

“Research has shown that even if you have a brief interaction with someone that’s positive, that’s marked by kindness and compassion, you have a longer impact on them than just a few seconds.”

Touch is also profoundly important, he said.

Offering advice to all those in the world of spa and wellness, Murthy concluded: “If you think about designing your workplaces for your staff and the services you provide your community, just recognise that whenever you can, bring people together where they can understand one another more clearly by sharing, where they have opportunities to help one another which help to strengthen connection.

“Then you’re helping to build community. You're contributing to healing… especially during this time of COVID-19, because people are dealing with extraordinary levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty.”

To explore more ideas about how spas can help tackle loneliness, click here.
RELATED STORIES
MORE NEWS
The Chenot Group announces passing of industry icon Henri Chenot
Spa and wellness veteran, Henri Chenot, has passed away, according to a statement released today (2 December) by his leading wellness brand, Chenot Group.
Groupe Nordik to unveil US$38m spa village which will become blueprint for major North American rollout
Thermal spa operator Groupe Nordik has announced further details about its upcoming US$37.7m (CA$50m €34.4m, £29.4m) wellness project in Whitby, Greater Toronto.
Tranquil urban spa opens in heart of Kyoto with spring water onsen
Marriott International has opened a new Luxury Collection hotel in Kyoto, Japan, complete with a spa and selection of traditional Japanese onsen baths
Anthony Molet to become Davines Group CEO as Paolo Braguzzi announces plans to step down
The Davines group, together with skincare brands Comfort Zone and Skin Regimen, has announced Paolo Braguzzi will leave his role as CEO and managing director, in May 2021.
Florida Spa Association forms strategic alliances with CFSA and FSMA
Ilana Moses, founder of the Florida Spa Association (FSA), has recently announced new alliances with the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) and Club Spa Fitness Association (CSFA.)
One&Only Mandarina opens with exclusive green spa experiences by Tata Harper
One&Only has unveiled a brand new luxury beachfront retreat in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, with a spa partnered with premium natural product house, Tata Harper Skincare.
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01-03 Dec 2020

Self-Care and Personal Sustainability Summit

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Massachusetts, United States
03-03 Dec 2020

Retention Convention 2020

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