The Healing Power of Creative Arts Therapies
As a lifelong advocate of the creative arts—I've had my share of dabbling any form of art from acting to painting—it has always intrigued me how this form of expression isn't just a source of entertainment or an avenue to vent out your emotions and ideas. It goes beyond aesthetics and metaphors. Believe it or not, the spectrums of music, dance, visual arts, and drama have a crucial role in the medical world. How, you might ask? Let's dive into the world of creative arts therapies.
Creative Arts Therapies: The Nexus of Art and Medicine
The prefix 'Art' in Art Therapy might bring up images of a relaxed invigorating session with colors or a fun karaoke singing, but what we are talking about here is more profound. Creative art therapy is a health profession. It uses the artistic process and the resulting product to help patients in treatment and rehabilitation. It's not about creating the next 'Starry Night' or belting high notes like Adele; Art therapy is about using creativity as a tool for healing and wellness.
The essence lies in the process than the outcome. Be it music, dance, drama, or visual arts, this form of therapy encourages patients to express their emotions, symbolize their thoughts, and even stimulate physical rehabilitation.
Not Just an 'Artsy' Thing: Unveiling the Science Behind
It might sound a bit 'artsy,' but there is a solid scientific backing to creative arts therapies. Neurological studies have shown time and again that our brain responds to music, visual stimuli, and physical movements at a primitive level. Dopamine, the 'feel-good' hormone, surges through our body when we listen to a beloved song, a fact that music therapists use to their advantage.
Similarly, colors and shapes have been proven to impact our mood and cognition—to the point it's utilized in interior design and marketing—and art therapists use this to help patients with psychological and emotional issues. Likewise, dance and movement are used to rehabilitate motor functions after a stroke or a neurological accident.
Clinical Success of Creative Arts Therapies
Need more proof? Well, let's talk about how creative arts therapies are revolutionizing the healthcare sector. From mental health to chronic conditions, to physical rehabilitation, this form of treatment is leaving no stone unturned.
In mental health care, Music and Art therapies have been hugely successful to manage anxiety, depression, and PTSD among patients. Sessions of drawing doodles or strumming a guitar have shown to reduce stress hormones, increase self-esteem, and foster a sense of belonging.
Dance and Movement Therapy have been integrated into the rehabilitation programs of stroke and paralysis patients. As per studies, these can quicken rehabilitation, improve balance and coordination, and enhance the overall quality of life of patients.
Tips to Use Creative Arts Therapy for Self-care
Before wrapping up, let me share how you can incorporate a bit of these therapies into your self-care routine. Isabelle—my rock and better half who runs an art therapy center, is always emphasizing the importance of self-care using art. Even with Evelina, our daughter, we try to incorporate creative activities into her daily routine.
Listening to music that you love, doodling, dancing to your favorite tunes— these are not just hobbies. They are self-care rituals that can nourish your physical and mental wellbeing. So, try to make some space for these activities in your routine. It's not about being an artist but about embracing the art for your health.