Next TEDxSnoIsleLibraries speakers share ideas on why words matter

The next two speakers for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2020 are ready to share their stories about personal transformation and creating personal relationships. 

All TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talks will be presented in Zoom meetings. The event host will introduce the speaker’s pre-recorded TEDx talk followed by live question-and-answer session with the speaker 

On July 18, TEDxSnoIsleLibraries has back-to-back talks scheduled starting with chiropractic physician, author and teacher Ya-Ling J. Liou at 10 a.m. Her talk is titled, “Transform Your Pain with the Words That Can Tame It.” 

Ya-Ling Liou, doctor of chiropractic
Ya-Ling Liou

Liou moved to Seattle in 1998 and taught at Ashmead College and Bastyr University while independently operating her own clinical practice. The practice continues to thrive and is the inspiration for her book series The Everyday Pain Guide,” the podcast Conversations About Everyday Pain and a growing selection of continuingeducation coursework for manual therapy practitioners through Stop Everyday Pain®. 

Liou wanted to do a TEDx talk to empower everyday people to be their own pain experts. 

“I felt like the idea I wanted to share was one that hasn’t yet widely reached average people, the ones who need this information the most,” she said. 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic? 

She says it started with a pet peeve.  

People come to see me hoping for relief from a variety of pain,” Liou said. My success rate with providing that relief and offering the most appropriate advice depends heavily on what these patients can tell me about their specific pain – the subjective data. Surprisingly often, patients are at a complete loss when asked to describe their pain to me in any way beyond the basic, ‘It hurts! 

Liou said her treatment of one patient’s “shoulder pain” can differ dramatically from another patient based what patients can tell her about the type of pain, when and how the pain started, and what makes it better or worse.  

I was so curious and a bit vexed about why something as seemingly simple as conversation was consistently offering more meaningful relief from significant physical pain than just treatment alone,” she said. “The best part: it’s something we can all learn to do and share with each other.” 

What have you learned from this experience? 

I don’t think the learning from this experience is over yet,” Liou said. Shaping the talk with an insightful TEDx coach helped me distill my idea in a way that has profoundly clarified my mission. 

Liou believes the work on her TEDx talk has given her better tools to communicate even more clearly and deeply with her patients and the kind of pain she sees in her chiropractic practice. It has also inspired her to expand her online course offerings to reach and support more everyday people. 

What expectations do you have with your talk? 

My hope is that this talk spurs a shift in thinking around the human relationship with pain on a global level,” Liou said. “I want people to know that by strategically using conversation, every single one of us can play a significant role in profoundly transforming the pain experience for ourselves and each other. I hope that it becomes apparent how each person has the power to impact the experience of many types of pain before they take hold. 

At 11:30 a.m. on July 18 Marty Folsom, Professor of Relational Theology and Executive Director of the Pacific Association for Theological Studies will present his talk.  

Marty Folsom
Marty Folsom

I have invested my life in improving personal relationships,” said Folsom, a Snohomish resident. This included my own as well as for clients, students and churches. I want to get my work out into the world. TEDx is a place to gather for a community conversation to make a difference. 

Folsom is author of the Face-to Face series (Wipf & Stock, 2013, 2014, 2016). He has three book projects underway at the moment, has a personal library of over 16,000 volumes, and is curator at Inscape Art Gallery in Redmond. 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic? 

“I have been researching, teaching, coaching and writing on personal relationships for the last 40 years. Earlier this year, I had one friend say that I need to do a TED talk because she believed I needed to get my message out in the world,” Folsom said. Then, another friend saw the SnoIsle Libraries TEDx talks theme Quantum Connections and he said he immediately thought of me because he saw the value of my work for this topic. 

Folsom was working on his doctorate on what it means to be a relational being when he read an article on recursion 

I have since seen that this concept can interface with all the major schools of therapy in helpful ways,” he saidFor me, this is a launchpad idea to share to make a difference in the field of personal relationships that seems to be missing for so many. I am delighted to make a contribution to understanding the dynamics of making deep, personal connections. 

What have you learned from this experience?  

“It is important in bringing a single, passionate topic, to give a gift through the TEDx platform,” Folsom saidTo get focused, I have to keep whittling down to get the most important point as to how we align with one another and that we cannot do it alone. 

Gaining that focus took effort. 

Getting to the core is hard,” he saidI have been grateful for the coaching and the mode of presenting with the online format. It has allowed me to prepare for a kind of audience that is available through the window of this format and to get personal feedback. I still have so much to learn about how to connect with a large group when my specialty is face-to-face conversations. 

What expectations do you have with your talk? 

I try to not think about expectations as they set me up for not fulfilling those expectations. But if we talk about possibilities, I think it is possible for an Einsteinian shift in how we think about relationships,” Folsom saidWe tend to think of ourselves as individuals looking out for ourselves. It is possible that we might see that it is all about relationships  the theory of relativity in our human context. 

We may have an outbreak of openness between friends and family members. We might see that we are not victims of the polarized world we live in, we can be agents of transformations with the skills I introduce in this talk. I think families, businesses, churches, neighborhoods and all forms of gathering together could be taken at least one step in a constructive direction. I hope to see that possibility come out to play in the world.