There is so much truth to this title; art DOES heal.  Not only physically but emotionally, making art is one of the best therapies ever. It helps what ails you as the old saying goes. I have known so many people who have turned to art when they needed healing, no matter from what, myself included in that. It covers all the bases.

We have discussed before how art is used in therapy by doctors and psychiatrists. There is a new venue out there for Art Therapy Practitioners. I just completed a certificated course in this subject and finally got my certificate. It’s a new way to use art as a therapy tool for almost any emotional problem someone may have. I learned a lot in the course; how to set up a session, using art in a mindful way for specific purposes, how to design assignments throughout a session to address a specific problem.  There also was a lot of psychology and neuroscience in the course. I had previously taken quite a bit of that in coursework and taught a neuroscience class so that part was pretty easy for me.  I already have an assignment at work with complete staff to use the skills I just learned. The key here is the certificate is good for art therapy PRACTITIONER, in no way do I do therapy. I take the art tools and mindset to the patients and teach them how to use it. 

Art can be used as analysis, especially in children when there is something amiss that is being suppressed. The analyst can tell by the images and how its drawn/painted what the images mean. Sometimes the patient doesn’t even know what the problem is, but most usually there can be a resolution from the art analysis. In this case art is used as part of the diagnosis or getting to the root of the problem. This is art therapy which is usually a patient/doctor situation. One has to have a psychologist or psychiatrist degree to practice this.

Art therapy is an important tool in working with people experiencing PTSD, mental health issues, cancer patients, and Alzheimer’s Disease, to name a few. It is a valuable resource because it taps right into the patient’s emotions and feelings. When being used this way, art is not considered from an aesthetic viewpoint, but focuses on feelings and thoughts. TOTAL SEL – Social emotional learning.

In therapy patients are encouraged to create artwork and then discuss it. Art healing can be done at home with no assistance from an analyst or discussion. In the creation of the artwork the healing process has begun. Listening to music, reading a poem, or painting a picture can translate to transferring pain or sadness to another place. The arts can evoke feelings in people and distract from chronic pain or depression. 

Using imagery through ritual and ceremonies has been used for centuries and is not new by any means. Modern medicine with the high technology and super drugs seems to have forgotten these paths of healing from the past. There has not been too much research into what happens physically when a patient practices art healing, but the results of tests so far are amazing. It is a holistic approach that needs no drugs or doctors. A person engaged in the creative process has a greater blood flow to the brain, activating brain waves that indicate a relaxed but cognizant person, the same state achieved through meditation. The brain also increases the production of serotonin which relieves depression. Art activities also improve heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration; and that is only on the physical level.

Music is also a super healer by changing up many physical symptoms. Quicker music increases brain activity, slower music has a tendency to calm the brain. Music will also lower blood pressure, boost immunity, eases muscle tension and more. With so many positive results, it is no wonder they are regarding music as an important tool to maintain good health and promote healing.

Some doctors are taking the holistic approach to healing and trying art and music in their test laboratories. I am sure they will find more and more how critical the arts can be to good health. Wouldn’t you rather listen to nice music, and/or draw a picture than take a pill? It sounds like a great alternative to me!!

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