Radical Joy Revealed
September 9, 2015

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Healing photos for patients
Monte Nagler photos on the ceiling of a hospital room where patients undergo linear arc tests. Photo by Monte Nagler Fine Art
If you've ever been subjected to an MRI, you know that the test itself makes a scary situation a whole lot worse. You're already worried about what's going wrong with your body. But then you're rolled into a tomblike, claustrophobic tube and instructed not to move. You lie there, trying to be a mummy, while the machine invades the deep recesses of your anatomy, and loud thumping and whirring noises make you feel like you're about to be torn up by a road crew.
Patients in a Michigan hospital are now discovering that the process is a little less miserable. Beaumont-Wayne Hospital commissioned local artist Monte Nagler to install nature photographs inside the ceilings of diagnostic equipment like MRI and CAT Scan machines. "It really started to excite me," said Nagler, who left a career in automotive design to turn his attention full-time to photography. "I thought if seeing a nice, calming photograph in the health care environment could help relax people, [make] MRI, CAT scan, radiation a little easier, that is a terrific feeling."
In the past two decades, realizing that the environment of a facility is just as important for healing as the medical treatment, many health care organizations have begun to pay more attention to music, color and lighting. Jack Weiner, CEO at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan reports that healing photos by Nagler and other artists have made a big difference, with patient falls at the hospital reduced by 60 percent and recovery from illness much quicker.

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