Reading for Wellbeing | The Hospice of St. Francis

Reading for Wellbeing

Blog from Mark, Books and Reading For Wellbeing Manager at our Chapter Two Bookshop!

Last Saturday we hosted a talk and signing by Chesham GP and This Morning regular, Dr Nighat Arif to promote her new book 'The Knowledge', the complete guide to female healthcare.

Dr Arif is a passionate advocate of the benefits of reading and education and both her story and her advice illustrate  the power of a regular reading habit to change your life for the better.

Dr Arif went to school in Chesham in the nineties and was inspired by Tony Blair’s cry of ‘Education, education, education.’ She studied hard and won a place at medical school which was a huge achievement for a Muslim girl wasn’t privately educated or from a grammar school. Her first experience of medical training was as a volunteer at The Hospice of St Francis when we were sited on Shrublands Road in Berkhamsted.

Recently in recognition of her outstanding contribution to inclusion, women’s health and public health she was awarded an honorary degree from London University.

At her recent visit to Chapter Two she reiterated the importance of reading to health and wellbeing:

"As a doctor I often find that we underestimate the health benefits of reading. Here are the Five health benefits of reading for all ages. First the most obvious one reading reduces stress and helps you relax, this can really help your mental wellbeing. Secondly it helps improve your concentration and memory. Thirdly, it enhances your knowledge and therefore greater sense of looking after your wellbeing. There is great data to show that reading  allows vocabulary expansion and strengthens your writing abilities thus leading to better brain health due to the manual dexterity needed to write. Finally reading increases your imagination and creativity which has shown to lower anxiety, reduce palpitations and blood pressure"

Dr Arif’s book The Knowledge is essential reading for people of all ages who care about their health and has a modern and transparent approach to healthcare which recognises the needs of diverse communities.

Dr Arif is scheduled to give two further talks in the local community: at Chesham Library on Monday 13th  November at 5.30pm and at Chesham Town Hall at 2.30pm on Sunday 19th November.

The Knowledge is available for £22 at Chapter Two Community Bookshop and all profits from these sales go to The Hospice of St Francis.