Healthcare practitioners all agree that the arts are good for your health. Healing arts is why you see paintings, sculptures, and art in waiting rooms.
There is often soothing music too. In fact, a piece of artwork has the power to promote pain relief. When used in medical settings, it is referred to as the healing arts. The healing arts include music, dance, visual art, writing, and drama.
Experts believe the arts can make you feel better. And can even reduce your pain. There are two basic approaches to healing arts. First, Arts can be used in passive or active engagement. Passive engagement used art created by others. You can look at a painting or listen to music. Reading a poem is also a passive healing arts experience. Additionally, interaction with the arts can reduce stress and anxiety. And this experience also relieves pain.
What Type of Artwork has the Power to Promote Pain Relief?
Listening to music is a perfect example of this healing. In fact, distraction is a tool for pain relief. And specific auditory stimulation has been linked to reduced pain, such as back pain. Specifically, reduced subjective pain. It works by calming the nervous system. Music therapy has been used to reduce pain in cancer patients. It can also boost immune function and lower their anxiety.
Visual arts can also impact how patients feel. As a matter of fact, studies show that the environment around patients matters. Nature scenes, in particular, are soothing. They are linked to reduced pain levels, such as shoulder pain. Recovery has also been proven faster in rooms with scenic views. Pictures in hospital rooms are correlated with shorter stays. There is also increased patient satisfaction!
More active engagement with the arts can also be healing, such as drawing, painting, coloring, and dancing. In fact, these activities serve as a distraction. And they are also beneficial during painful flare-ups. Active participation leads to emotional healing too. This can lead to changes in pain experiences. Additionally, it also is shown to alleviate suffering.
Patients that engage in the healing arts have shorter hospital stays. And they also show lower stress hormone levels. It’s even been proven that they get better sleep and require less medication! Creative activity boosts the PAG (periaqueductal gray) part of the brain. This has a role in relieving pain, such as knee pain. Pain is also associated with mood swings and social isolation. Creative engagement can counteract these as well.
Who can Benefit From The Healing Arts?
You do not have to be an expert to benefit from the healing arts. Anybody can admire a painting or color a mandala. And anyone can listen to music or read a poem. Your journaling, coloring, or dancing can be as social as you want. What will matter is that you feel better. Therefore, you will also have less pain in your life.
So, make sure you occasionally stop in at an art gallery. Or, bring your bedridden grandma a piece of artwork. You may pleasantly be surprised afterward!