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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doctor who helps kids heal with chess

Hello Everyone,

Can healing be a magical process if chess is involved? Surely, Yes! This doctor we read about loves to play chess with his patients and helps them recover faster.

Norm Saba is a 56-year-old doctor at the Cardon Children's Medical Center. He encourages all his patients - who are kids - to take up the game.

He also plays chess at the bedside of his patients. On rounds at the hospital, Saba carries a magnetic chess set in his pocket. Whenever a patient feels up to a game, Dr. Saba sets up the set on the bedside table.

This is what one young patient writes:

"He would come into my room to visit me before he went to check on his patients (in the hospital's pediatrics department)," says Schreiner, now 20 and a University of Arizona transfer student. "One day he brought in a chessboard and gave me his phone number and said, 'We're going to play chess.' "

From her hospital bed, she sent her moves to Saba via text message, and he responded with his in between seeing patients at his Mesa office.

Sometimes, the best medicine in Saba's bag is a simple chess set. It's a remedy he has seen succeed time after time, and Shreiner, too, felt the healing effect with every texted move!

"The hospital is all about being healthy," Saba says, "and that means having a strong body and a strong mind. Chess is another way to help children be healthy."

It keeps their minds active and their stress at bay while they're confined to bed, "and they can play for their rest of their life," he says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' "School Health Handbook" includes a section on the benefits of chess, inspired by a resolution Saba wrote in 1999 when he was president of the academy's Arizona chapter.

You can read this interesting full article here.

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  • At August 26, 2010 at 6:55 AM , Anonymous Graham Wadden said...

    I still think that governments are missing a trick by not adding Chess to their school's education syllabus.

    The following webpage contains an article that adds weight to incorporating Chess alongside the more-traditional subjects (maths, sciences, languages, and the like):


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