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Art Therapy aids recovery

Annabelle Cole, Editor in Chief

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Art therapy is a widely practiced medium of healing used by people to return to a state of well being.

“Art therapy is an effective treatment for people experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological impairment,” said the American Art Therapy Association in an article on their website.

Creating, viewing or listening to art can positively affect one’s mental and physical health, no matter how serious.

NIH News in Health published an article stating that creating art can improve quality of life, and reduce anxiety and stress.

“When traumatic memories are stored in the brain, they’re not stored as words but as images,” said NIH art therapist Megan Robb. “Art therapy is uniquely suited to access these memories.”

The process of drawing or painting these images can give one “an active involvement in your own healing.”

The University of Westminster took another view on the subject by studying the effect of looking at art rather than creating it. The study observed the effect a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery on stress.

“We conclude that the gallery visit caused rapid normalisation (recovery) from the consequences of high stress,” they said, proving arts healing properties.

NIH News in Health also relayed the effect of music and the brain on their website. Music is a constant in life, playing an important role throughout.

For example, “… a recent report from Finnish scientists showed that listening to music helps stroke patients recover both memory and focused attention,” said NIH News in Health. “The researchers also found that music can reduce post-stroke depression and confusion. Other studies suggest that stroke patients may improve faster if they sing, rather than speak, as part of their rehabilitation.”

Dr. Daniel Levitin of McGill University in Montréal said that “music may be the last thing to go” in cases of memory loss, showing how influential music is on the brain.

Art, whether painting, music, sculpting etc., has show its aid in healing. Whether a severe illness, or a stressful day, art can lead the way to recovery.

“Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness and loss of belonging in the world and through it I’ll walk myself home,” said Nikki Rowe, Australian writer and published author.

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Art Therapy aids recovery