Did you know that art can be therapeutic? This comes to no surprise to museum goers, who have a visual and emotional experience when viewing art. Aware of the importance of art, color and design on people’s health and well being, who are at the forefront are an amazing group of “Art Therapists.”
With the rising health care costs and overworked medical staff, there’s is greater demand, to fill the void between medical professionals and patients. With the increased acceptance of complementary medicine Art Therapists are filling the void.
As a mental health profession, Art Therapy can be found in many clinical settings with diverse populations. Art therapy growing in popularity in non-clinical settings such as art studios and workshops that focuses on creative development. Art Therapists work with patients of all ages who are, living with cancer, burns, pain, post-surgery, HIV, asthma, emotional trauma and substance abuse. They use a variety of innovative, hands-on activities that involve art materials, such as paints, markers and chalk, in order to assess and treat patients.
They help patients gain insight, cope better with stress, work through traumatic experiences, increase cognitive abilities, build better relationships and to enjoy their life’s pleasures through the creative experience.
New Technology & Ancient Mysticism Merged
Art, color and design carry the potential for very powerful expressions of energy, whether positive or negative. Thanks to equipment, such as Kirlian photography, we can actually capture and evaluate what ancient sages have always believed; that the positive flow of energy around us brings a feeling of well being while stagnant energy causes us to feel physically and emotionally low.
For example, if the artist was going through an emotionally challenging point of his life, when creating the work as Pablo Picasso did in his “Blue Period’, the energy of his work would reflect it. Most likely, the viewer would feel somber. In comparison to Picasso’s “Rose Period”, where he featured comedic characters and circus people dressed cheery orange and pink hues. The energy of his work would feel optimistic.
“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”. Pablo Picasso
The Museum of Modern Art, is helping Alzheimer’s patients, by having Art therapy tours. With more than four million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and with no cure in sight care givers are increasingly exploring art as a way of managing the disease. As a result of Art Therapy, patient’s memories, cognitive thinking and emotional disorders improve and for many their doctors have lowered their dosage for prescriptions.
Geometric patterns, such as mandalas, have been used in temples across India and the far east as a physical form that expresses the vibration of meditation. The physical body can actually sense the movement of energy around these forms and experience the benefit without meditating themselves.
Donna Johansen, a health care interior designer, of 20 years, trained energy healer and artist using Planetree philosophies, creates healing paintings for health care facilities and spas. She incorporates the vibration of sacred geometric patterns, such as mandalas and healing Sanskrit symbols to bring in positive healing energy into the environment through the artwork. She created a collection of individual-scarves with vibrational designs for patients, in response to the current US health care crisis.
“With the aging population we have more patients and fewer resources than ever before. Alternative energy modalities are gaining acceptance in hospitals, but require trained volunteers. I saw this scarf as an inexpensive way to bring the healing energy experience to people in a more accessible way.”
Patients and the medical staff love her work. They are experiencing amazing positive effects, such as a reduction of stress, depression and anxiety. Just think all those health benefits without a pill or shot.
Health Care Facilities Getting a New Attitude
With the increased acceptance of complementary medicine combined with health care providers fighting for your business a new health care philosophy has emerged.
Planetree is a national, nonprofit organization that assists hospitals in expanding activities that support patient-focused care. According to legend, the planetree, or sycamore, is the tree that Hippocrates (the father of western medicine) sat beneath when he taught medical students in Greece centuries ago. Today, Planetree exists to personalize, humanize and demystify healthcare. It works to develop and implement new models of health care which focus on healing and nurturing body, mind and spirit. These models integrate human caring with the best of scientific medicine and complementary healing traditions.