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If you’ve seen any of my work, you know I LOVE a delicious ceiling color because of what your patients see when they look up and how it contributes to their emotional experience while in your practice.

(Above: My design of a new Naturopathic Physician’s office. Ceiling color: Benjamin Moore’s Tempest)

Recently I discovered some science to back up why you should care about what your patients see when they look up and how it can help you grow your practice.

Here are the deets:

In 1976, the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute in San Francisco published a study on the correlation of eye movements with neurophysiological processes.

Guess what they discovered?

Eye movements were related to specific mental and emotional responses.

So check this out:

“If we raise our head to look upward, for most of us it is harder to think of the past than when looking down.” (Source: Design is a Mind Field: Cell-rejuvenating Architecture and Design, by Rosayln Dexter)

Keep reading. Here’s where it gets good.

“If we lean forward and hang our head it is not only easier to think about the past, it is also harder to feel uplifted.” (Source: Design is a Mind Field)

Let me repeat that:

When we hang our head and lean forward, it’s harder to feel optimistic and easier to focus on those internal negative mind tapes of the past.

Now, on the other hand…

When we hold our head and shoulders upright, it is harder to feel sad and easier to focus on the present or the future.

Now, imagine this:

Your client or patient walks into your waiting room, takes a seat and waits for his or her appointment.

During that time, there is a brief period of time to read a magazine, check emails on your smartphone or hang out and… start gazing upwards.

In that moment when your patient is checking out your space, looking upwards around your waiting room, there IS an opportunity for your design choices to instill hope and optimism.

Looking up is a game changer for your practice.

How many times have you heard friends and family over the years complain about the dentist’s office and sitting in the operatory chair only to look up at a hard white ceiling with cracks older than your grandma?

Uh, huh.

Treat your ceiling like any other part of your patient-centered practice.

Give it lots of love–a beautiful color, a big mural, or other ceiling treatment your patients will love and enjoy looking at.

When your patients feel calm, hopeful and positively distracted while in your practice, you’ve won them over for life.

As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Your Biggest Supporter,

Cheryl Signature pink copy