It is a fairly well-documented fact in today’s world that the healing of disease, injury, or emotional illness works best when approached with multiple methods. Whether you are recovering from surgery, suffering a chronic illness, battling cancer, or suffering from depression, add the healing properties of one or more of the arts to your treatment plan.
You might say: I have no creative side!
Everyone does, though. If you do not know from which avenue your creative juices flow, try experimenting. The arts cover a vast area of forms. Think beyond the most familiar, which might be music, painting, writing, or acting. Imagine the creative joys of building something with your own hands, whether of metal, wood, or bread dough. Yes, even furniture building, carpentry, and cooking can be creative processes that help heal your body, mind, and spirit.
There are many other art forms you can pursue, too. These are some of the things that come immediately to mind. Painting, keeping a journal, writing, knitting or crocheting, gardening, scrap-booking, photography, learning to play a musical instrument–all creative arts that help one heal. If you seek interaction with others, you can join a class, sing with a quartet or a choir, or take up ball-room dancing.
If you have trouble getting out, you can begin a cooking club, and writing club, or anything you wish and invite others to your home once a week or once a month. Tailor your creativeness to what works for you.
If you prefer to learn on your own at home, buy a how-to book, or print out online instructions. If you already have a creative outlet, up the wattage on it. If you paint, try the various mediums you don’t use now, even finger paint. If you write, try a new style. If you build bird houses, perhaps you’d love building a chair or a decorative shelf. The key is variety. It keeps one growing happily, which also aids healing.
If you already pursue an art-form, that is great! The process of getting lost in something we love releases healing and pain-killing hormones in the brain. The process lifts the spirits, relaxes the body, engages the mind. Being fruitfully engaged also wards off depression.
If you are able to pursue something more active, think dance, yoga, home decorating. The fields of art run as vast as your imagination. Learning new things, pursuing familiar things we love each day can do as much for body and soul as can some medicines. Just let yourself enjoy the process without restrictions. You may invent a whole new art style and heal in the doing.
Karen Chaffee 2008
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