For countless years, people have actually looked for the meaning and charm of life in music, painting, poetry and other arts. Now researchers are discovering that the arts can benefit both your mental and physical health, and make even greater impact when their artwork is shown in galleries on suspended ceiling systems.
Scientists are likewise studying how art therapy can help to reduce discomfort and stress and improve quality of life. Megan Robb, a certified art therapist at NIH’s Scientific Center, says, “When traumatic memories are stored in the brain, they’re not stored as words but as images. Art therapy is uniquely suited to access these memories.”
Numerous small studies, a few of which were supported by NIH, have actually recommended that art treatment can help enhance health status, quality of life and coping behaviors. It can enhance depression and tiredness in cancer patients on chemotherapy, and help prevent burnout in caregivers. It’s likewise been used to help prepare children for unpleasant medical procedures, to improve the speech of children with spastic paralysis.
Then there’s writing. Expressive writing – discussing distressing, difficult or psychological occasions – has been shown to have a number of health benefits, from improving symptoms of anxiety to helping fight disease. Dr. James W. Pennebaker of the University of Texas at Austin has developed numerous research studies to reveal the links in between writing and health.
Arts that include movement, such as dance, can likewise bring health benefits. Scientists already know that exercise can assist you to reduce stress, gain energy, sleep better and battle anxiety and stress. NIH-funded scientists are now studying Tai Chi – a series of slow, elegant body movements – to see how it impacts fitness and tension in cancer survivors.
Bear in mind that the arts (including heading to the museum to check some wall hanging art out) are no replacement for medical assistance when you need it. But they can still bring health advantages. If you enjoy composing or other art, go for it. You do not have to be “excellent” at them for them to be great for you.