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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can Puzzles and Games Heal?

It is so wonderful to see my 2 passions meet -- games and natural healing. I maintain a blog on kids non-violent computer games and have loved games since I can remember. To find Gil Galante who is an expert on games and puzzles (as his site ConceptisPuzzles clearly shows) was SUCH a blessing. In September Gil posted an article on his blog (Individual At Home) titled, "Puzzles as Pain Relievers" which says it all.

Last week when I talked about ways to stay sharp mentally I mentioned games like Sudoku, Chess, etc. It didn't even dawn on me to talk about the ways that games can actually distract you, entertain you, relieve stress and actually act as a painkiller as Gil points out.

We play a LOT of games in our house. From board games, logic games, puzzles, adventure games to games on the Wii where the 4 of us are up jumping around the living room. Playing games puts the whole family in a GREAT mood (Ok -- maybe not all the time as my 8 and 4 year old are still learning how not to win gracefully). I encourage games and puzzles that work the brain for my kids. I will let them play something mindless occasionally but only if they've recently played other educational games.

The Law of Attraction states how what you concentrate on expands. When I was ill I was very aware of my chronic pain and spent a lot of time lying or sitting down. Doing Sudoku was one of the things that did help. When I was playing I had to concentrate in order to solve the puzzle and while I might have been aware I wasn't feeling GREAT-- by focusing on something else my pain went to the back of my mind. I highly recommend reading Gil's article... "Puzzles as Pain Relievers". Funnily enough I never thought of them as such but looking back they sure helped me get through some rough days!

There are tons of different puzzles you can find online for free. Some take only a few seconds and some can take hours. I'd recommend finding a site you like -- like ConceptisPuzzles, Shockwave, or the many others available and playing a little while. A few minutes will give you the distraction you need, relax you, get your brain going and entertain you at the very least. I always leave a puzzle game feeling a little more awake, relaxed and focused and ready to get back to work! ; )

4 comments:

giL said...

Many thanks for your kind praise Jenny. what a lovely gesture! The thing I found most amazing about Dr. Carl Arinoldo's research is the 27% figure of people saying "the games provided distraction from chronic pain and/or fatigue" and even more amazing the 8% claiming the games had actual impact of "relief from chronic pain and/or fatigue." I guess the human brain is so much more than just a smart computer, isn't it?

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Gil, Thanks for coming by to comment.Your article definitely struck home as I LOVE puzzles and am obviously very passionate about healing. It made me realize how puzzles helped me through my illness -- I had never even thought of them that way. Thanks for the article and I am REALLY enjoying Conceptis -- so many puzzles -- so little time! ; ) Gratefully, Jenny

Leena said...

Hi Jenny,

What has been more important to me is the relief on mental pain. I have suffered from panic (or anxiety) disorder for 20 years and the best way to get your mind focused on something else has been puzzles.
If you have not tried the picture logic puzzles, give them a try. The pleasure of finishing one is so much greater than any sudoku. Conceptis picture logic puzzles are real art ;) and I hang the solved puzzles to my refrigerator door with magnets.

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Leena, Thanks for coming by and for your comment and personal story. I am LOVING the Conceptis site and tried the picture puzzle yesterday for the first time... I think I need some practice but can totally see how they would be addicting! Thanks again for sharing how puzzles have helped you. Gratefully, Jenny

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