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Student Health Recommends Mindfulness to Visibly Bleeding Third Year

By Nik Varley
Oct. 17, 2017

At approximately 5:56 p.m., third- year student Matt Crawford reported to the University of Chicago’s Student Health Services seeking treatment for a sizable abdominal wound. Upon examining the grotesque injury, Student Health Services recommended that the visibly bleeding Crawford “give mindfulness a try.”

“Mindfulness is a wonderful method of stress and anxiety reduction that has done wonders for so many students experiencing the negative emotions that Matt is experiencing,” said Student Health Services representative Jasmine Cunningham. “I gave Matt some literature on focused awareness and a few of my favorite guided meditation tapes. I think that in a few weeks, he can could really start to see some results.” Counselors also provided Matt with a Moleskine journal and recommended that he record the points throughout his day during which he found himself thinking about his gaping abdominal laceration.n

“This is a fairly basic negative thought b blocking exercise that can help with clear thinking in stressful situations like dealing with a life- threatening personal injury,” continued Cunningham. “In Matt’s case, we told him to replace thoughts like ‘I think I’m losing too much blood’ with a positive personal mantra that he can use to calm himself.” The counselors concluded their treatment by giving Crawford an anxiety workbook and a challenge to spend the time within sessions “trying to understand his pain and in doing so better control it.

“I don’t really know how I feel about this all this,” confessed a still-bleeding Crawford. “I mean, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on my pain, most of it is coming from this huge gash in my torsochest. But who knows, maybe this mediation stuff will work. It sure is a bummer that they don’t have any availability to meet with me for the next three weeks, though.”

“If we feel that Matt’s situation is serious enough that four sessions with student health won’t be enough to treat it adequately, we will absolutely refer him to a professional,” added Cunningham. “But to be honest, we have great faith in the power of mindfulness. I’ve never seen a student issue that it couldn’t solve.”

She continued, “Matt is already off to a great start. He told us that he ‘couldn’t feel anything,'’, which means he’s making real progress on letting go of his anxious fixations and attachments.

When pressed by our correspondent as to whether mindfulness was an appropriate treatment for physical trauma, Cunningham called the accusation “a classic example of worst-case-scenario anxiety” and retreated to her office for twenty minutes of silent meditation.